Unlock OCBC app with Face ID

Customers can now use selfies as verification, doing away with passwords or fingerprints when doing their everyday banking on mobile apps including OCBC mobile banking, OCBC OneWealth, and OCBC business mobile banking.
Customers can now use selfies as verification, doing away with passwords or fingerprints when doing their everyday banking on mobile apps including OCBC mobile banking, OCBC OneWealth, and OCBC business mobile banking. PHOTO: OCBC BANK

Face value now has a whole new meaning, with OCBC launching facial recognition for customers to access their consumer and business banking apps on the iPhone X.

"Your face is your new banking password," said the bank in its media release over the weekend. It is the first bank in Singapore to launch this service for Apple customers.

This service - known as OCBC OneLook - will use Apple's Face ID facial recognition technology to enable payments or the viewing of bank account, credit card and investment information.

This means customers can now use selfies as verification, doing away with passwords or fingerprints when doing their everyday banking on mobile apps including OCBC mobile banking, OCBC OneWealth, and OCBC business mobile banking.

The facial ID function can also be used when making payments on the peer-to-peer fund transfer service, OCBC Pay Anyone.

Mr Aditya Gupta, head of e-business Singapore, 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."

Over 120,000 Singapore-registered users of OCBC Bank's business Internet banking portal may also take advantage of this function.

BYE-BYE FINGERS, HELLO FACES

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.

MR ADITYA GUPTA, OCBC Bank's head of e-business Singapore.

Mr Gregory Trotter, head of cash management, global transaction banking, OCBC Bank, said this adds to the functions such as fingerprint authentication, and voice banking using Siri.

"We understand that business owners want immediate access to banking information wherever they are so that they can effectively manage their day-to-day operations and make decisions on the go."

A recent Wired article showed that it may be difficult to hack the Face ID function. The magazine spent thousands of dollars - hiring a top biometric hacker, as well as Hollywood face-caster and makeup artist - to try and replicate the face of a fake victim, and have the Face ID function erroneously unlock a phone.

According to Wired, Apple's Face ID is done by having the iPhone X project a grid of 30,000 infrared dots onto a face. It then uses an infrared camera to form a three-dimensional model, said Wired. The technology also has a "liveness detection" to ensure that it is a live person looking at the camera, not just a person with a face mask on.

"We failed," said the Wired article. "Did we come close to cracking Face ID? We don't know. Face ID offers no hints or scores when it reads a face, only a silently unlocked padlock icon or a merciless buzz of rejection. All we learnt from our rather expensive experiment is that Face ID is, at the very least, far from trivial to spoof."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2017, with the headline 'Unlock OCBC app with Face ID'. Print Edition | Subscribe