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Philippines and Malaysia add new biometric banking options

Philippines and Malaysia add new biometric banking options

One of the Philippine’s largest banks is introducing biometric verification through voice recognition in order to stem fraud.

UnionBank will become the first to implement speech recognition in the country, starting with its customer service, local news outlet PhilStar reports. UnionBank does not reveal the biometrics vendors it uses in its data privacy statement.

Announcing the news, UnionBank’s head of AI Adrienne Heinrich said that young digital nations such as the Philippines still lack awareness of financial fraud, while scammers are skilled at obtaining confidential information from victims through social engineering.

“We hope to implement it next year, and I hope it [the shift] will be super fast,” Heinrich said on the sidelines of the Singapore Fintech Festival.

Currently, banks in the Philippines offer facial recognition, fingerprints, and iris scans.

Another popular local bank relying on biometric authentication, the Philippine National Bank (PNB), announced a new milestone this week: Registered users of the PNB Digital App surpassed one million. The app uses the PNB Digital Key soft token with fingerprint and face biometrics.

Malaysia welcomes fully digital banking

In Malaysia, residents will finally be able to try out a fully digital banking experience by enrolling through electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) verification.

GXBank, led by Singaporean ride-sharing giant Grab, launched its beta digital banking app for an initial customer group of 20,000 Malaysians. Customers will be able to sign up through KYC using a local identification card and a one-time password (OTP). In addition, users will be able to secure accounts with face biometrics. Existing Grab users can access GXBank directly within the former’s app, tech news website TechWireAsia reports.

GXBank was among the first batch of successful applicants for digital bank licenses in Malaysia. Four other banks were also approved.

The bank is a subsidiary of GXS Bank, a digital bank joint venture in Singapore involving Grab, Singaporean telecommunications conglomerate SingTel and a consortium of Malaysian investors, including Kuok Group.

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