SINGAPORE: Shortly after the launch of Apple's iPhone X in Singapore, OCBC Bank has rolled out banking authentication using the iPhone X's new feature, Face ID.
The Face ID system uses a mathematical model of users' faces to allow them to sign on to their phones or pay for goods with a steady glance at their phones.
OCBC OneLook is the first service in Singapore to use the facial recognition technology to enable payments or the viewing of bank account, credit card and investment information, the bank said on Monday (Nov 6).
"Your face is your new banking password," it declared in the news release.
OCBC Bank customers using the iPhone X, running on the iOS11 operating system, can authenticate access to its consumer and business banking apps like OCBC Mobile Banking, OCBC OneWealth and OCBC Business Mobile Banking by looking at their phones, instead of using passwords or fingerprints.
Once logged in, customers can view their account and card balances, as well as their latest transactions, the bank said.
They can use the service to view their investment portfolios on the OCBC OneWealth app or pay friends via QR codes on the OCBC Pay Anyone app, it added.
OCBC head of e-business Singapore Aditya Gupta said: "There’s a whole generation of customers becoming more comfortable with biometric authentication technology, and we are confident that they will find OCBC OneLook truly impressive and relevant. So, bye-bye fingers, hello faces!”
The bank's head of cash management in global transaction banking Gregory Trotter added: "We are introducing OCBC OneLook for our app, so that business owners who are early adopters of the iPhone X can continue to use biometric authentication to access banking information quickly, conveniently and securely."
Addressing queries on possible security concerns using Face ID, Mr Aditya said that when OCBC OneLook is used to view banking information, all account numbers displayed are partially masked, with only the last four digits of the account number revealed, which is the case now when users log in using Apple's Touch ID fingerprint recognition.
The bank does not store any account numbers, balances or other related information on the phone and two-factor authentication is required should the customer wish to perform banking transactions, he added.
Last month, Apple disputed a report by Bloomberg News that it allowed suppliers to reduce the accuracy of the iPhone X's facial recognition system to speed up output of the phone.
"The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven't changed. It continues to be one in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID," the company had said in a statement.
This makes it 20 times more secure than the company's fingerprint identity sensor, Touch ID, which has an estimated one in 50,000 chance of someone other than the user unlocking an iPhone using it.
However, Apple has stated in a security guide published this month that the probability of a false match using Face ID is different for twins and siblings that look like the user as well as among children under the age of 13, "because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed".
For those concerned in such cases, the company recommended using a passcode instead.