OCBC Bank rolls out face verification for ATM transactions

OCBC Bank is taking Singapore closer to dispensing with the need to carry around an ATM card that can be skimmed or stolen as it pioneers in Southeast Asia the introduction of facial biometrics for ATM services.

Clients can use this initially for account balance enquiries, which will be first rolled out on eight ATMs — 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, and Geylang Road 7-Eleven.

The service will then be extend progressively to cash withdrawals at all OCBC Bank ATMs in Singapore. 

OCBC Bank is the first to tap Singapore’s National Digital Identity infrastructure, SingPass Face Verification, to securely verify customers for banking transactions at ATMs without the need for ATM cards. 

A customer’s scanned face is matched and verified against Singapore’s national biometric database containing the images and identities of 4 million Singapore residents.

This new way access to ATM banking services is a secure alternative to using physical ATM cards. Face verification is embedded with security features to prevent fraud, including liveness-detection technology that detects and blocks the use of photographs, videos, or masks during the verification process.

“While cash is still a key mode of payment in Singapore, the digital overlay to get cash is very welcomed by consumers,” said Sunny Quek, OCBC Bank’s head of consumer financial services Singapore.

“Overall, digital adoption within OCBC has grown year-on-year in 2020 with more than 40% more customers signed up on PayNow, and PayNow transactions doubling, compared to 2019,” said Quek. “QR code cash withdrawals at ATMs grew 88% year-on-year in 2020.”

He said that 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.

Following the roll out of face verification for balance enquiries and cash withdrawals across OCBC Bank’s ATM network, face verification will then extend to other ATM transactions including cash deposits, funds transfers to other banks, cashcard top-ups and credit card bill payments from next year.