OCBC Bank rolls out facial verification for ATM banking

  • Face verification now available on eight OCBC Bank ATMs in Singapore
  • Taps into Singapore’s National Digital Identity Infrastructure

OCBC Bank rolls out facial verification for ATM banking OCBC Bank in Singapore has introduced facial biometrics for ATM services, which it claimed will allow users to access ATM services with just face recognition and eliminating the need to carry an ATM card.

Face verification can now be performed on OCBC Bank ATMs for account bank enquiries, which has been rolled out in eight ATMs around the city state. In a statement, the bank said it will extend face verification for cash withdrawals to all OCBC Bank ATMs in Singapore progressively.

OCBC Bank claimed that it is the first bank to tap into Singapore’s National Digital Identity infrastructure – SingPass Face Verification – to securely verify customers for banking transactions at ATMs without the need for ATM cards.

The customer’s scanned face is matched and verified against Singapore’s national biometric database containing the images and identities of 4 million Singapore residents.

OCBC’s noted that face verification is embedded with security features to prevent fraud, including 'liveness-detection,' a technology that detects and blocks the use of photographs, videos, or masks during the verification process.

The bank additionally said that account balance enquiries and cash withdrawals are the most used ATM services, making up close to eight out of 10 ATM transactions performed by OCBC Bank customers.

“Singapore consumers are keen digital adopters, even the elderly,” said Sunny Quek, OCBC Bank’s head of consumer financial services Singapore.

“While cash is still a key mode of payment in Singapore, the digital overlay to get cash is very welcomed by consumers.”

He added that digital adoption within OCBC has overall grown year-on-year in 2020, with more than 40% more customers signing up on PayNow, which allows users to send or receive money using ID numbers, mobile numbers or a QR code.

PayNow transactions doubled in 2020, compared to 2019, OCBC said.

“QR code cash withdrawals at ATMs grew 88% year-on-year in 2020,,” Quek said.

“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 touchpoints.”

To use face verification at an OCBC Bank ATM, customers can select the ATM service they want before entering their NRIC number on the ATM screen.

They will then be prompted to position their face within a frame on the screen, while a specially installed web-enabled camera takes a scan of their face and verifies in real time the scanned image against the national biometric database, which OCBC Bank’s ATM network is digitally linked to.

Once the facial scan is verified, the customer can proceed with their ATM transaction.

OCBC said following the roll out of face verification for balance enquiries and cash withdrawals across OCBC Bank’s ATM network, the feature will be extended to other ATM transactions including cash deposits, funds transfers to other banks, cashcard top-ups and credit card bill payments from next year.


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