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HSBC is letting customers verify their bank accounts like Airbnb does with selfies

Selfies kim kardashian artificial intelligence robots shutterstock gettyGetty Images/Shutterstock/Tech Insider

HSBC is now allowing business customers to verify their identities when they open an account by taking a selfie — much like how you would open an account with popular home-sharing company Airbnb.

In a statement sent to Business Insider, HSBC said that business customers will now have the option on their mobile banking app to complete an ID security check when opening an account by just taking a headshot on their phone instead of putting in a password or using other biometric methods, such as using a fingerprint.

It says using the facial tracking technology will “streamline the account opening experience” as the selfie taken will be assessed against an ID document that was previously uploaded by the customer, such as one from a passport. This is the same process you go through when verifying an account with Airbnb.

Over the last few years, banks have been ramping up efforts to implement biometrics into the security process, in order to keep people’s accounts safer from hacking or ID fraud.

Last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its “Future of Financial Infrastructure” report that biometric technology is one of the key things that is set to transform financial services over the next few decades.

Earlier this year at the WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland, one of the world’s most prominent cyber security experts told Business Insider that a big improvement to our security is potentially doing away with passwords altogether and using more biometrics — such as voice recognition and fingerprints.

“It’s time we found ways to get rid of the password. They are no longer viable and considering the extent of how much we live our lives online, we need to find ways to make ourselves more secure. After all, think of how many passwords we use and how hard it is to remember them all. Even I have had to constantly reset my passwords because I keep forgetting them,” said Malcolm Marshall, Global Head of Cyber Security practice at “Big Four” accountant and consultancy KPMG International.


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