Societe Generale expands biometric banking plans
16 August 2018 14:40 GMT

French bank Societe Generale has said customers can now open accounts through using biometric identification solutions.

In a blog post, the bank said for the first time in France, Societe Generale is giving its customers the chance to open an account online using biometric facial identification and a dynamic selfie.

"Societe Generale is the first bank in France to obtain agreement from the CNIL to deploy this disruptive biometric facial recognition technology in the commercial arena. Societe Generale aims to achieve 30% of new accounts opened online by 2020 (compared with 10% at present)."

It notes that until now, in order to identify new customers in compliance with the rules applicable to banks, the only option was to ask customers to transfer an initial sum of money from an existing account held in their own name with another bank: a requirement that constitutes an obstacle for people opening their first bank account.

"Biometric identification means new customers are no longer subject to this condition. Thanks to a facial recognition algorithm, new customers are formally identified by comparing their proof of identity with dynamic selfies taken when they open the account. The authentication process using facial biometrics is ten times more reliable than any human attempt to verify identity. Biometric identification, combined with proof of identity and an online exchange between the customer and the bank, means that new customers are identified in a simple, secure and reliable way: no biometric data is retained. Only the results of the checks performed are stored by Societe Generale".