News: Facial tracking technology designed to make customer lives easier.
In what is another nail in the coffin of traditional passwords, HSBC is going to allow business customers to verify their identities with selfies.
The development is being made possible thanks to facial tracking technology, which verifies a selfie against a passport or driving license picture that the bank will hold on record.
The idea is that customers can use their Apple or Android phones for mobile banking and will reduce the need for customers to make trips to their local branch.
Taking a selfie on their phone will also save the customer from putting in a password or using other biometric authentication login methods such as using a fingerprint.
Richard Davies, head of global propositions for commercial banking, HSBC, said: “Through simplifying the ID verification process, we’ll be able to save our business customers time and open accounts quicker.
"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.”
HSBC is not the first in the financial sector to allow customers to use selfies for verification purposes. MasterCard rolled out an app which allows users to verify online payments with a selfie photo or fingerprint in February at Mobile World Congress.
The move comes as part of a concerted effort by banks to start moving away from passwords in order to increase security and to make banking simpler.
In August Barclays Bank announced that it was dropping passwords for telephone banking in order to move towards voice recognition technology, while challenger bank Atom uses biometrics.
HSBC has already made big strides to move away from passwords by launching a voice and fingerprint recognition system in February for up to 15 million customers.
Banks will have to continue looking at new technologies as part of a Competition and Markets Authority call for reform.