A mobile-only bank in Thailand recently announced that it has enabled fingerprint and facial biometrics to make it speedier and safer for customers to open their TMRW accounts.
In doing so, TMRW claims that it is the first bank in Thailand to offer both forms of biometrics to enhance the account opening experience. TMRW customers are able to use the enhanced biometric capability at all 350 TMRW authentication kiosks, located in high foot-traffic areas across Greater Bangkok.
The Head of Retail Digital at UOB (Thailand) stated that TMRW is committed to making banking simpler, more engaging and transparent for Thailand’s digital generation.
The bank is welcoming customer feedback so that it can determine which areas to improve in so as to provide better service.
For example, a small percentage of customers using fingerprint biometrics to authenticate their account at TMRW kiosks found the experience not seamless enough; the bank then enhanced this with the latest facial recognition technology to ensure a smoother account opening process for all.
TMRW’s augmented biometrics capability is part of a suite of new features that the mobile-only bank has rolled out to enhance the customer experience. To do so, the Bank conducted surveys with more than 4,000 customers to understand more deeply how they engage with TMRW. TMRW then used those insights to improve its app so that it continues to be relevant to its customers’ needs and priorities.
For example, customers will be able to enjoy a refreshed user interface customised for Thailand’s digital generation. This includes streamlining the information that customers receive on their home page as well as reducing the number of steps required for customers to pay their bills and to manage their credit cards in real-time.
The bank’s unique data-driven business model puts the customer at the centre of all operations and processes. To create an experience that is always engaging for customers, the bank will continue to learn from the data insights it gathers from transactions. As customer needs and demands change over time, so will the way in which the bank engages with them.
Increased Use of Biometrics in Banks
In October 2019, OpenGov Asia reported that The Bank of Thailand (BoT) would be moving forward with a test of biometric Know Your Customer (KYC) technology.
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 facial, voice, and behavioural biometrics.
The move is otherwise in keeping with Thailand’s recent enthusiasm for biometric technology.
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 also 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.