OCBC Bank rolls out face recognition at ATMs
Customers can check account balances for now; can make cash withdrawals from June
OCBC Bank customers who wish to do so can key in their NRIC number and face a camera to check their account balances at the bank's automated teller machines (ATMs).
The new facial biometrics feature does away with the need to carry an ATM card, which can be skimmed or stolen, the bank said. The ATMs will be able to perform only account balance inquiries using face verification for now.
An ATM at OCBC Tampines Centre 2 will offer the service from today, and another, at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre, from Monday. Six more will be operating by the end of next week at Pickering Street, OCBC Tampines Centre 1, HDB Hub, 103 Yishun Ring Road, a Geylang Road 7-Eleven outlet and the bank's learning and development centre, OCBC Campus.
The use of biometrics authentication by financial institutions is not new and has been deployed for online financial services and phone banking, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Said a spokesman: "MAS does not prescribe any specific technology to be used for authentication, and financial institutions are encouraged to innovate to meet their customers' needs for security and convenience while ensuring that MAS' requirements on strong security controls, data confidentiality and responsible use of data are met."
The face verification feature will be extended for cash withdrawals at all 550 OCBC ATMs here progressively from June and to transactions such as cash deposits, funds transfers, cash card top-ups and credit card bill payments from next year.
Customers can select a service before entering their NRIC number on the ATM screen. They will then be prompted to position their face within a frame, while a Web-enabled camera scans their face and verifies it in real-time against the national biometric database that OCBC's ATM network is digitally linked to. The feature is embedded with security properties to prevent fraud, including liveness-detection technology that blocks the use of photographs, videos and masks.
Said OCBC's consumer financial services head Sunny Quek: "With many customers already embracing QR cash withdrawals without having to use an ATM card, face verification will add a layer of convenience to more customers as they access our banking touch points."
DBS Singapore country head Shee Tse Koon said customers have been benefiting from the convenience of facial verification technology since last July.
"DBS will continue to explore ways to expand the use of face verification and emerging technologies in our digital services and self-service machines."
OCBC said it has measures to protect customers and ATM transactions, including closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, and remote CCTV viewing and video analytics.
Still, civil engineer Rion Tng, 35, said: "I'll be wary at the start since I've read reports that there were ways to fool Apple's Face ID face-recognition technology."
But nurse Suliha Bivi, 53, said: "With the face recognition feature, it will be more difficult for scammers to break into an account."