NBTC to launch mobile-banking fingerprint app

NBTC to launch mobile-banking fingerprint app

The family of Phansuthee Meeluekij, who lost nearly a million baht via mobile banking and identity theft, protests in front of the Royal Thai Police Office in Bangkok, demanding restitution. The NBTC has developed a fingerprint app it says will make mobile phone-banking safer.(Photo by Pawat Laupaisarntaksin)
The family of Phansuthee Meeluekij, who lost nearly a million baht via mobile banking and identity theft, protests in front of the Royal Thai Police Office in Bangkok, demanding restitution. The NBTC has developed a fingerprint app it says will make mobile phone-banking safer.(Photo by Pawat Laupaisarntaksin)

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to launch a software application this year allowing people using mobile banking to securely identify themselves with their fingerprints.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said on Monday the telecom regulator spent 7 million baht developing the new application over several months and it would be operated as an additional registration system for mobile phone users accessing mobile banking services, which were among the most popular services nowadays.

"The fingerprint system is to complement existing registration systems. NBTC will not force all mobile users to register with the new system. It will encourage them to do so for their own benefit, especially when they use mobile banking," he said.

Mr Takorn did not say how people would use their fingerprints with the new app. He said only that it would be compatible with all mainstream mobile phone operating systems and users could register for the fingerprint service at mobile phone operators' outlets when it was launched.

Mobile phone operators would be able to use the new app to scan customers' fingerprints, he said.

The app would send data to NBTC's server, which was connected to those of telecom operators, he said.

The new app would undergo public hearings in October before its introduction by the end of this year, Mr Takorn said.

The NBTC's announcement comes in the wake of a complaint by a 28-year-old man who lost nearly 1 million baht to a customer who used his identity information to get a new SIM card, and later withdraw money from his business account via internet banking services.

His bank, Kasikornbank, agreed to put the 986,700 baht back into his account, and mobile phone operator TrueMove, which issued the SIM card to the thief, gave him a new iPhone 6S with a free one-year service package as compensation.


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