Thai banks set for facial and fingerprint biometric verification use in Q3
Customers of the Bank of Thailand will be able to use biometrics for identity verification when opening deposit accounts by the third quarter of this year to boost security, build consumer confidence, and improve access to financial services, according to the Bangkok Post.
The central bank is planning to gradually open up biometric technology to financial institutions for electronic know your customer (e-KYC) processes. Technology for facial and fingerprint recognition is being tested in a regulatory sandbox, with the tests scheduled for completion in Q3, according to Siritida Panomwan Na Ayudhya, assistant governor of the bank’s payment systems policy and financial group.
Twelve bank and non-bank financial services firms are participating in the test, including Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikornbank, and Bank of Ayudhya. The latter was reported in March to be ready to implement the biometric processes. After account opening, the central bank is expected to approve biometric verification for digital lending.
“On average, tens of thousands of new deposit accounts per month are opened at a local large bank,” Siritida says, according to the Post. “With e-KYC technology, new account openings are expected to increase.” Further, she says, the number of mobile banking transactions per user per year in the country has roughly doubled from 50 or 60 to 100, and national e-payment platform PromptPay has 48 million registrants. QR code payment is accepted at 4.9 million merchants in the country, up from just over 3 million at the end of 2018.
The central bank is also testing machine learning applications in its regulatory sandbox, and banks have applied for new business licenses issued by the bank for electronic wallets and peer-to-peer lending.
Thailand is also currently testing out a new national digital ID system, which is expected to launch later this year.