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Biometric banking services introduced for Pakistan expats, Ukraine payments, and crypto traders

Remote KYC comes to Vietnam, Australia urged to keep digital ID verification
Biometric banking services introduced for Pakistan expats, Ukraine payments, and crypto traders

A remote biometric registration and onboarding process is being introduced to allow Pakistani citizens overseas to directly open bank accounts or invest in the country, Dunya News reports.

The new Roshan Digital Accounts initiative is slated to roll out in early-September, having been approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The accounts will enable fund transfers, ecommerce payments, bill payments, and other transactions.

A senior officer in the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) also said that a biometric emigrant registration process would verify the identity of all emigrants. The National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) has been eliminated to reduce costs for migrants.

The biometric process is provided by a link to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Pakistan’s government has formed agreements with several countries in the Middle East and Asia to provide overseas employment opportunities for Pakistanis.

The OP&HRD has also implemented a machine-readable passport facility, among other measures to aid expats.

Ukraine bank rolls out face biometrics POS terminals

Biometric point-of-sale (POS) terminals are rolling out in the Ukraine for PrivatBank’s FacePay24 payment service, writes NFCW.

The terminals allow customers to make purchases with face biometrics and a PIN, without using a card or mobile device. Customers can register via the bank’s updated Privat24 app with three selfies taken from different angles, and linking their account to a bank card.

So far, 260 Android PAX POS terminals have been deployed, and PrivatBank is planning to install another 7,500 across the country be the end of the year.

Selfie and ID check verification launched by crypto platform

Cryptocurrency platform BitMEX is launching a User Verification Program in which it will ask all users to complete ID checks with a biometric selfie, proof of address and identity document within the next six months. The new controls will enable the platform to provide a more trusted and secure trading environment, according to the announcement.

BitMEX says the process should take about five minutes in total. All BitMEX traders must have completed the checks by February 12, 2021 to continue trading. The process for corporate accounts remains the same.

In addition to helping secure accounts, the identity verification process will help BitMEX support personnel reliably verify who actually owns an account in the event of a dispute, hack, or “incapacitation.”

A single selfie is no longer enough to ensure customer identity, Jumio CPO Phillip Pointner tells Tech Wire Asia, as it leaves institutions vulnerable to spoofing. 3D face biometrics and liveness detection, he says, are the way to be sure of who the customer is.

The combination of biometrics and artificial intelligence for rules-based compliance systems is the key for banks in Asia-Pacific fighting financial crime, according to Timothy Choon, financial crimes leader for Fico.

Fico’s Integrated AML Compliance Survey shows 93 percent of banks in the APAC region are planning to continue investing in technology to upgrade or enhance existing systems for compliance with AML and other regulations this year.

Regulatory checks evolving in Vietnam and Australia

The launch of electronic KYC checks in Vietnam makes 2020 the year of digital transformation for many banks in the country, according to local outlet The Star.

The first banks have launched eKYC services, with selfies submitted with identity documents for facial biometric comparison.

“The bank ensures safety according to regulations of the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) for customers including identity and biometrics from information encryption to 3-layer security,” a representative of VPBank told Vietnam News. “VPBank has always paid attention to risk management. We are waiting for new regulations from the central bank to launch more diversified products on eKYC account.”

The new system has not solved all onboarding problems, the representative says, as electronic signatures are required, but the country’s e-signature regulations themselves are flawed. The representative also said that in a pilot, more than half of customers who had previously declined to use digital banking had adopted the channel, and half of them made transactions through it.

More than 35 percent of adults in Vietnam do not have bank accounts, according to the article.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) was told during a webinar that digital identity verification must be kept in place post-COVID, Australian Broker reports.

Loan Market Chief Compliance and Regulation Officer David McQueen told ASIC he hopes the regulator will not return to previous policies for lending.

If the Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) approves digital identity verification, it would increase pressure on lenders to follow suit, according to McQueen. Industry body FinTech Australia recently stated that open banking could help standardize digital identity verification for financial services.

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