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Thai bank to trial biometric KYC tech

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced that it is moving forward with a test of biometric Know Your Customer (KYC) technology.

The test will involve ten separate organizations, including commercial banks and other non-bank financial institutions.

The test itself will not begin until some unspecified technical issues have been resolved, although Assistant Governor of the Bank of Thailand stated that the Bank still expects to complete the trial before the end of the fourth quarter.

The bank needs to roll out policies, regulations and criteria to ensure smooth and problem-free operation before eKYC goes into effect.

Moreover, identity verification – particularly during account registration – will be one of the Bank’s primary areas of focus during the trial.

During phase 1 the bank will use biometric technology to verify a customer’s identity when opening a savings account.

If the implementation is successful, banks and other financial institutions can adapt the technology to other aspects of their services without having to seek for BoT’s permission to enter the sandbox project again.

What kind of biometric technology will be deployed during the test was not indicated. Other financial institutions have made use of a variety of different technologies, including face, voice, and behavioural biometrics.

The move is otherwise in keeping with Thailand’s recent enthusiasm for biometric technology.

The country recently ordered biometric e-Passports recently and has previously passed regulations that require mobile operators to enable biometric enrolment.

According to another report, Thailand’s Immigration Biometrics technology is helping to stop fake passport users.

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau announced the arrest of 8 foreigners using altered passports after biometrics technology flagged mismatches.

The Immigration Bureau will roll out a biometric identification system at immigration checkpoints nationwide. The bureau invested 2.16 billion baht for the system, which can identify a person by matching fingerprints and faces.

The technology is based on a system created by the largest German biometrics manufacturer.

About 2,000 biometric scanners were installed in 170 immigration checkpoints. The automated biometric identification system help identifies fake passports and those who are blacklisted.

Thailand is the fifth country in Southeast Asia to implement the system after Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Brunei.

The Bank of Thailand has constantly been aware of the latest tech trends and how it can adapt the technology to provide better services.

In August 2018, the bank Thailand’s Central bank announced a project that focused on the development of digital currency (CBDC) for use in domestic wholesale funds transfers.

The exploratory pilot entailed the development of a proof-of-concept prototype for the use of the central bank-backed currency across R3’s Corda platform.

The project incorporated key payment functionalities such as a liquidity saving mechanism and risk management into the design and build.

The project participants aim to further develop the capabilities of the prototype for broader functions including third party funds transfer and cross-border funds transfer.

The Thai central bank’s efforts are part of a wider programme of private and public sector applications currently underway in the country.

It is evident that the bank is working to push forward its innovation, thereby pushing forward Thailand 4.0.


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