Face ID today; digital DNA tomorrow

Face ID today; digital DNA tomorrow

With the advent of Face ID on the iPhone, Travis Tyler, general manager, consumer digital at Westpac looks ahead to the next wave of innovation.

When I think about emerging technologies, it’s lately been a little, shall we say, left field.

For example, I’m a big believer that “augmented reality” could explode by bringing digital and physical experiences together. This would potentially accelerate the next surge in e-commerce as consumers see how a couch would fit into their room or feel how a car drives. But I’d also be able to see if that T-shirt for sale made me look like Sheldon Cooper out of The Big Bang Theory…

It may sound a tad bizarre, but actually not that far away as technology advances hit the market at an exponential rate.

Yesterday, Westpac supported Apple’s launch of Face ID technology for the new iPhone X, allowing customers to log in to our mobile banking apps across all brands, Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne. We may also update our banking apps to support facial recognition for Android in the future if that becomes available.

Our customers want simpler, faster log ins when banking on the go.

The uptake of fingerprint log in for supported devices has only continued to grow, particularly among millennials, as the technology becomes more readily available. Now it’s the next evolution of biometrics in banking, where customer interactions are less about what they can remember and more about who they are. It’s only likely to further grow as data is opened up. The next phase will involve how your digital foot print is becoming your digital DNA, with you everywhere you go and helping keep your data and money safe.

We’re always working on trying to provide and support the best technology for customers to ensure they have a more personalised, easier and secure digital experience. Interestingly, facial ID may be more secure than Touch ID, which on Apple’s numbers has a 1 in 50,000 chance of being compromised, versus Face ID at a 1 in 1,000,000 chance.

That’s probably because your eyes need to be open and looking towards your phone for Face ID to work (you can’t be asleep), and the technology maps the geometry of your face and adapts to changes in appearance, helping to protect against the use of print or 2D digital photographs. And no, we don’t store any Face ID information, the phone does.

It’s an exciting development and just one of many we have planned catering to customers’ needs.

Personally, a technology I’d love in my life is an automatic reminder being set up on my device when I think about something I have forgotten. Too out there?

Comments: (1)

Mark Sitkowski
Mark Sitkowski - Design Simulation Systems Ltd - Melbourne 07 November, 2017, 05:151 like 1 like

I can't remember whether it was 2014 or 2015, but around that time, the FBI had its entire digitised fingerprint database stolen. Passwords can be changed, but physical characteristics can't, which is just as well, since they had to quickly revert to the former, while they cleared up the mess. It was bad enough, that their agents could now be identified at border crossings, where fingerprints were taken but, if the data had included face prints, they could have been picked out from a crowd with a simple camera.

Biopmetrics is no more secure than a username/password system. It actually incorporates both username and password in one parameter, and reduces to what is, effectively, a Single Factor Authentication. Additionally, since the biometric data is  digitised, the system is vulnerable to replay attacks by hackers, who've gone to the trouble to intercept and record the biometric data.

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