HSBC allows its banking customers to apply through the use of a selfie

HSBC customers will soon be able to open new accounts with a ‘selfie’. This process is part of the bank’s plan to simplify its application process. Prospective clients will be able to apply through providing a self-portrait image of themselves on their phone.

This will be verified against facial recognition software. Once this process is complete the customer will have access to withdrawals and deposits. HSBC will also ask for another form of ID, as an additional security measure.

HSBC’s Head of Global Propositions for Commercial Banking, Richard Davies, believes this new process will be speedy and efficient. He notes that prospective customers will “no longer need to visit a branch” in order to open a new account.

The significance of biometrics within enterprise cybersecurity

HSBC already use fingerprint and voice recognition technology within their business. Biometrics has been steadily growing in popularity over the years, with many industries preferring it to traditional security techniques. In the last two years the UK retail banking sector has focused upon biometrics as its main mode of cybersecurity. Banks are competing to introduce the most secure and simplistic way to identify its customers.

A recent survey discovered that 52% of consumers preferred other forms of security to more traditional username/password registration. Malcolm Marshall, Global Head of Cyber Security Practice at KPMG told Business Insider “It’s time we found ways to get rid of the password… we need to find ways to make ourselves more secure”.

Selfies appeal to today’s consumers

Commenting on the news, Rich Lack, Director of Sales EMEA, Gigya, said “biometric identification as a higher standard of verifying identity. It is not prone to human error, such as forgetfulness.”

Moreover, 80% of consumers in a recent Gigya survey believe it is a more secure form of security than traditional usernames/passwords, which are often written down. Critics argue that selfies are tacky and less secure. But selfies appeal to consumers, who value speed, convenience and security. They are a more secure form of cybersecurity. However, not all biometric security is foolproof. Iris scanning was introduced by Samsung and can be fooled by using a photograph of the user. Fingerprint verification can be easily hacked through the use of Play-Doh.


Edited from sources by Ruby Arenson