HSBC deploys selfie security: are passwords finished?

- Finance - Sep 05, 2016

HSBC is allowing its business customers to open new bank accounts by taking a selfie, cutting out the need to visit a branch and verify their identity in person.

It is the latest in a string of moves by banks away from traditional security and verification methods, namely the use of passwords. HSBC has already launched voice and fingerprint technology for 15 million customers, while Barclays has also scrapped phone passwords in favour of voice recognition.

Steven Cooper, CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays, commented in August: “We can all relate to the frustration of forgetting a password at the crucial moment. Voice security can cut out that part of the call completely and, unlike a password, each person’s voice is as unique as a fingerprint.”

MasterCard is driving this move towards biometric payment and security technologies. In March, BMO Financial Group (BMO) and MasterCard marked the beginning of a phased launch of the first biometric corporate credit card program in Canada and the U.S. that enables cardholders to verify transactions using facial recognition and fingerprint biometrics when making online purchases.

Speaking at the time, Steve Pedersen, Vice President, Head, North American Corporate Card Products, BMO Financial Group, said: “The use of biometric technology has become more common for consumers looking for convenient and secure ways to make purchases using their smartphones, so this was the natural next step for us as innovators in the payment security space. Mitigating the risk of fraud is always our top priority, and the inclusion of this technology is going to make payment authentication easier, and strengthen the security of the entire payments ecosystem.”

MasterCard is currently piloting a ‘selfie pay’ system, whereby shoppers can pay for goods up to a certain value with a photo of themselves, a step up in security from contactless cards, pins and passwords.

Business Review Europe will be interviewing MasterCard in an upcoming magazine issue – watch this space to see how the global payments company is leading the way in new security technologies.

Read the September 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

Follow @BizReviewEurope

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