Five banks get BOT okay to use facial recognition technology

FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2020

The central bank issued guidelines on July 22 on using biometric technology, including facial recognition, for use in financial services, and five banks have put the KYC (know-your-client) procedure in place for the opening of accounts.


Bank of Thailand’s assistant governor Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya said on Friday (July 24) that 14 banks and non-banking financial institutions have applied to use the biometric technology as a KYC tool for identity verification. 
So far, five bank – Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank, Krungsri, TMB and CIMB Thailand – have been given the green light as they have successfully passed the experiment in a regulatory sandbox, she said. Now all five banks use facial recognition technology for their services, meaning clients can open bank accounts using a mobile phone app or ATM machine without having to go to the bank in person. 
As many as 5 million accounts have been opened so far using the facial-recognition technology, which fits perfectly in the “new normal” brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. 
According to the central bank’s guidelines on biometric technology, service providers must implement six measures:
1. They must put in place policy and regulations on using the technology, 
2. Gather users’ information and ensure it is secure,
3. Accurately assess the client using biometrics; 
4. Meet international standards in protecting users’ information; 
5. Protect users and educate them about the technology; 
6. Put in place operational risk management and ensure continuous service.  
In the initial phase, banks will apply the biometric technology to their own customers, while in the second phase, the central bank will allow cross-verification of users’ identity among financial service providers, Siritida added.