You may have previously heard that KL International Airport may soon allow you to use facial recognition in lieu of a boarding pass. Moscow Metro system is also set to enable fare payment via facial recognition but in Singapore, the system is now in use for ATM transactions as well.
One of the country’s most well-known bank, OCBC will soon allow its customers to use facial recognition for ATM transactions. Claimed to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the system makes use of the Singaporean government’s national biometric database.
From Friday onwards, OCBC customers can check their account balances using facial recognition at selected ATMs in Singapore. Eventually – that is, progressively from June – the feature will allow cash withdrawals at all of OCBC’s Singapore ATMs, with more transactions (like cash deposits and credit card bill payments) added on later.
Customers will still have to enter their NRIC number before the scan takes place though. Then a web-enabled camera does its magic and verifies their image in real-time against the national biometric database.
OCBC said facial recognition would eliminate the need to carry an ATM card, which is vulnerable to theft and skimming. The bank’s face-scanning process is apparently loaded with anti-fraud security features, like liveness-detection technology which prevents the use of photographs, videos, or masks.
Sounds cool? Creepy? We may be fast approaching a point where facial recognition goes beyond unlocking our phones to become an indispensable facet of our everyday life but of course, there are always questions of privacy.
Who stores our biometric data and can we trust them? And are we willing to sacrifice privacy for convenience? The verdict is still out there.