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HSBC allows customers to use selfies to open new bank accounts

Facial recognition technology will be used to verify the images

Will Worley
Monday 05 September 2016 09:17 BST
A self-shot head shot can be used to open an account
A self-shot head shot can be used to open an account

Business customers with HSBC will be able to open new accounts with a selfie as the high street bank seeks to simplify its application process.

Prospective clients will be invited to provide a self-portrait shot on their phone, which the bank will then verify using facial recognition software before allowing them to make deposits and withdrawals.

A passport or driving licence photo will also be required as an additional security measure.

“Through simplifying the ID verification process, we’ll be able to save our business customers time and open accounts quicker," said HSBC's head of global propositions for commercial banking, Richard Davies.

He added: "We also expect the convenience and speed of a selfie to become the verification method of choice for our customers, who no longer need to visit a branch to complete the process.”

The banking giant already uses fingerprint and voice recognition technology for millions of customers.

Biometrics have been growing in popularity with banks in recent years and other methods available to customers include iris recognition and finger vein technology.

The increased use of biometrics over more traditional security methods has gained vocal support from some industry insiders.

Earlier this year, Malcolm Marshall, Global Head of Cyber Security Practice at accounting giant KPMG, told Business Insider: "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."

Cyber security has been high on the agenda of banks in recent years, both for customers and security higher up.

In August, banking regulators in the US said the issue of hacking would be under renewed focus following cyber-attacks on key financial institutions in the country.

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