HSBC has launched facial recognition technology in China to enable customers to make payments with a selfie.

With the new system, the customer blinks into their camera while using the mobile app, using the ‘selfie mode’. Their identity is then checked against a photo held on a database. In addition to matching the pictures, the customer also has to enter the correct passcode into their banking app. A limit of RMB50,000 ($7,600) a day is kept for the transfer amount. 

HSBC has used this facial recognition technology for the first time, moving from use of a token device for authenticating and making transfers. The bank’s page reports that people in Asia are more likely than those in Europe and North America to have confidence in new technologies, according to a recent report by HSBC. More than 60 per cent of Chinese people believe that biometrics, such as facial or fingerprint recognition, will be the only way to access banking services within 10 years, the Trust in Technology report found.

“We believe there is a huge growth opportunity, stemming from Chinese consumers’ enthusiasm for new technology,” said Richard Li, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC China. “Investing in digital banking is one of our priorities to ensure we continue to provide the services people want and expect from us.”

HSBC has been actively implementing biometric techniques for customer authentication. The bank had earlier announced plans to roll out voice recognition and Touch ID for 15 million UK customers.

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