The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is planning to allow financial institutions to implement biometric technology for the purposes of verifying identification when opening deposit accounts by Q3 2019.
As reported by the Bangkok Post, the BOT is set to gradually enable banks and non-bank firms to adopt biometrics for electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) procedures. These are being trialed within the regulatory sandbox by twelve institutions, including Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikornbank, and Bank of Ayudhya.
Siritida Panomwan, assistant governor for the BOT’s payment system policy and financial group, confirmed that exits are scheduled for Q3 2019, with authentication technology is expected to include facial recognition and fingerprint reader methods.
She further noted that mobile banking and transactions have increased significantly since banks waived fees for digital transactions. An average of 100 mobile banking transactions are made each year per individual user, up from 50-60 a year earlier.
Digital lending will reportedly follow BOT approval of biometric verification systems.
The central bank has not yet set a specific timeframe for other financial services to begin implementing e-KYC procedures, saying decisions will be based on the preparedness of institutions. The projects are ultimately intended to strengthen the country’s financial system while improving operating efficiency in the digital era.
Biometric technology is expected to enhance security, increase consumer confidence, and facilitate better access to financial services, especially in remote areas. A national digital ID firm is also testing citizens’ digital IDs and authenticating them under the government program.
Commercial banks are meanwhile applying for the BOT’s new business licences in order to meet customer demand.
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