SME owners can set up DBS account with facial recognition

Bank's new feature runs on GovTech's SingPass Face Verification technology

Under DBS' move for small and medium-sized enterprise owners, SingPass Face Verification allows a captured facial image to be matched against the national biometric database to verify their identity. PHOTO: DBS
Under DBS' move for small and medium-sized enterprise owners, SingPass Face Verification allows a captured facial image to be matched against the national biometric database to verify their identity. PHOTO: DBS

Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners now simply need to face a camera to authenticate and verify their information while setting up a corporate account online with DBS.

The bank said the new facial biometrics feature runs on the Government Technology Agency's (GovTech) SingPass Face Verification technology.

Previously, business owners who qualify for straight-through processing need to manually key in their DBS digibank credentials for their personal account to confirm their application.

"This has proven to be a hassle, with customers often forgetting their credentials. With SingPass Face Verification, DBS has done away with the need to remember passwords, and customers need only face the camera to authenticate their application," the bank said yesterday.

Their facial image is matched against the national biometric database to verify their identity.

DBS first introduced SingPass Face Verification in a pilot for SME account opening last November, with more than 100 customers using the feature since then.

The bank yesterday started offering SingPass Face Verification as an authentication option for all applicants who qualify for straight-through processing.

Customers will be able to access their new corporate account online in about 20 minutes from the point of application, said DBS.

Customers can also save time by pre-filling the application form for a new corporate account by giving DBS approval to retrieve the data through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) or MyInfo Business. They will then be able to select SingPass Face Verification as an authentication option, before scanning their face with a Web camera or a mobile device with a front-facing camera.

Ms Joyce Tee, group head of SME banking at DBS, said corporate accounts allow SMEs to access critical banking services such as working capital support, supply chain financing and property loans.

"That's why we have doubled down on our digital innovation efforts to make the customer onboarding journey as seamless and intuitive as possible. This in turn enables SMEs to remain focused on their business operations and stay ahead in today's business environment," she said.

SingPass Face Verification allows a captured facial image to be matched against the national biometric database.

This database contains the facial images and identities of four million local residents aged 15 years and above, captured through applications for passports and NRICs.

Its use has so far been limited to official purposes, including verification at border checkpoints and in some government buildings to limit access rights.

With SingPass Face Verification, private-sector organisations can tap the nation's digital identity infrastructure to securely verify online transactions without needing to build their own systems.

Last July, DBS became the first private-sector entity to pilot the service, which is integrated into its digibank app for retail customers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'SME owners can set up DBS account with facial recognition'. Subscribe