Launch of e-KYC for deposits

Launch of e-KYC for deposits

New customers can sign up via facial scan

Thakorn Piyapan, BAY's head of digital banking, takes a selfie to demonstrate the technology used for electronic Know Your Customer.
Thakorn Piyapan, BAY's head of digital banking, takes a selfie to demonstrate the technology used for electronic Know Your Customer.

The Bank of Thailand is letting six commercial banks offer facial recognition using electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) technology to verify the identity of new customers under the regulatory sandbox when opening online deposit accounts, starting on Thursday.

The six banks are Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), TMB Bank and CIMB Thai Bank, said Siritida Panomwan Na Ayudhya, assistant governor for the central bank's payment systems policy and financial group.

These banks are permitted to verify the identity of customers who use other banks' financial services through the National Digital ID (NDID) platform, enabling users to open deposit accounts through the digital channel without presenting themselves at branches and removing the need to fill out duplicate information, Ms Siritida said.

She gave assurances that biometric verification is capable of preventing identity theft and fraud. The Bank of Thailand will assess the service offering's results before expanding to a broader scale later.

The central bank will encourage commercial banks to apply e-KYC to other financial services and allow non-bank financial institutions to adopt the technology, Ms Siritida said.

Bangkok Bank executive vice-president Prassanee Ouiyamaphan said those who are not existing customers at the bank can open an e-savings account through the Bualuang mBanking app, using financial recognition technology for identity verification.

At first they are required to authenticate identity via NDID at the bank's headquarters to ensure that they will have a good experience and allow the bank to learn about problems and customer needs, Mrs Prassanee said.

After the service exits the central bank's regulatory sandbox, it will open to the general public.

"The bank is taking aim at the new generation who are familiar with digital technology and financial applications," Mrs Prassanee said.

Thakorn Piyapan, chairman of Krungsri Consumer and head of digital banking and the innovation division at BAY, said the technology will let those who are not the bank's existing customers open deposit accounts more easily.

The bank's prospective depositors are required to provide consent to enable BAY to use their identities given to other commercial banks for authentication, he said, adding that e-KYC can shorten the time spent on deposit account opening by 83%.

Under the regulatory sandbox, money parked into online deposits accounts is limited to 100,000 baht per depositor. BAY permits each depositor to open one online deposit account.

For its part, SCB has joined with Counter Service Co to offer identity authentication service through facial recognition technology at 7-Eleven stores for those who have never been the bank's customers.

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