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Bank of Thailand authorizes facial biometrics for eKYC checks

Bank of Thailand authorizes facial biometrics for eKYC checks

Banks in Thailand will be allowed to use biometric facial recognition to authenticate customers for remote account opening, The Bangkok Post reports.

Six banks in the country have been authorized by the Bank of Thailand to perform electronic Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) checks with facial biometrics; Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, TMB Bank and CIMB Thai Bank. The banks are now eligible to verify customers’ identities through the National Digital ID platform, which includes records from various financial services organizations, to reduce paperwork and eliminate the need to visit a branch in-person, according to Bank of Thailand Payment Systems Policy and Financial Group Assistant Governor Siritida Panomwan Na Ayudhya.

Siritida says biometric verification could reduce identity theft and fraud, and the central bank will assess the service’s performance before expanding its scale. Ultimately, the Bank of Thailand hopes to encourage commercial banks to use eKYC for other financial services, and to allow non-bank financial institutions to adopt facial recognition.

Siam Commercial Bank has also partnered with Counter Service Co. Ltd. to allow customers who are not SCB account-holders open non-passbook savings accounts at 7-Eleven locations with facial biometrics, The Nation Thailand writes.

SCB and Counter Service launched a Banking Agent service partnership last year, which now processes THB185.3 million (US$5.9 million) daily.

For the new service, customers can use an ID card with an electronic data capture device at the convenience stores, enter a phone number and PIN, and have their identity confirmed with facial recognition, after which an application form can be downloaded.

The partners are expected to sign up more than a million customers this year, having just launched the “This is Me at 7-Eleven” campaign to coincide with the service’s launch.

The service is expected to be available at all 7-Eleven branches.

Goode Intelligence predicted a year and a half ago that the number of customers around the world using biometrics for banking services will reach 1.9 billion this year.

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