SINGAPORE: Forgot to bring your OCBC ATM card? You will soon be able to check your bank account balances or withdraw cash by scanning your face at the bank’s ATMs.
In an announcement on Thursday (Mar 18), OCBC said it will be enabling face verification for bank transactions at its ATMs.
This roll-out of facial biometrics for ATM services will start off with account balance enquiries at eight selected ATMs from Friday.
They are located at:
- OCBC Tampines Centre Two
- Taman Jurong Shopping Centre
- Great Eastern, Pickering Street
- OCBC Tampines Centre One
- HDB Hub Level 1
- 103 Yishun Ring Road
- OCBC Campus
- Geylang Road 7-Eleven
OCBC said it will extend face verification for cash withdrawals to all of its 550 ATMs in Singapore “progressively” from June.
It also has plans to do the same for other ATM transactions, including cash deposits, fund transfers to other banks, cash card top-ups and credit card bill payments, from next year.
Despite the push in digital banking, OCBC said ATM usage remains high, with more than two million cash withdrawals monthly.
Account balance enquiries and cash withdrawals are the most popular ATM services, making up close to eight in 10 ATM transactions performed by its customers.
Face verification will remove the need for customers to carry their ATMs cards around, and is also a “secure alternative” to physical ATM cards, the bank said in its media release.
OCBC is tapping on the SingPass Face Verification technology developed by local authorities to verify customers for banking transactions at its ATMs.
To enable face verification at an OCBC ATM, account holders will first select their preferred ATM service before entering their NRIC number on the screen.
They will then be prompted to position their face within a frame on the screen, while a specially installed web-enabled camera will take a scan of their face.
Verification is then done in real time against the national biometric database, which contains the facial images and identities of four million Singapore residents.
Once the facial scan is verified, customers will be able to proceed with their ATM transaction.
Security features are also in place to prevent fraud, such as liveness-detection technology to detect and block the use of photographs, videos, or masks during the verification process, OCBC said.
Responding to CNA’s query on whether removing one’s mask for the face verification is in line with current COVID-19 guidelines, the bank said an individual’s identity must be verified in order to perform a banking transaction securely.
“In line with the national guidelines for mask wearing, customers may remove their masks momentarily in order for the bank to ascertain their identities, such as is done at our bank branches to verify a customer’s identity before a transaction is performed at our teller counters,” said Mr Sunny Quek, OCBC’s head of consumer financial services in Singapore.
This is not the bank’s first time leveraging the national digital identity infrastructure.
It did so last year when it allowed customers to use their SingPass to access digital banking services.
Within six months, more than one million logins to the bank’s digital banking platforms were performed using SingPass, in place of traditional access codes and PINs.
In July 2019, it also allowed customers to withdraw cash by scanning a QR code. Last year, the number of QR-code cash withdrawals rose 88 per cent from the same period a year ago.
Overall, the bank saw growth in digital adoption among its customers last year, with more than 40 per cent more people signing up for PayNow. PayNow transactions also doubled compared to 2019.
“Singapore consumers are keen digital adopters ... While cash is still a key mode of payment in Singapore, the digital overlay to get cash is very welcomed by consumers,” said Mr Quek.
“With many customers already embracing QR cash withdrawals without having to use an ATM card, face verification will add a layer of convenience to more customers as they access our banking touchpoints.”