BY Fast Company 2 MINUTE READ

There are now fewer reasons to visit your local bank, thanks to technology, consumers now do most of their banking via mobile phones.

There’s still one major reason why you may still need to visit most banks. Opening a banking account still requires you to show your face and present some documents. Capitec bank has just launched a feature in its app to enable anyone to open a banking account without visiting the brick and mortar bank building. Here’s how. Through facial recognition functionality opening a bank account from Capitec will be as easy as opening up an app, taking a selfie and submitting some required documents via the app and then you have a banking account.The facial biometric support on Capitec’s app also allows for the officiating of contracts, which normally has to be performed in a branch.

Capitec is joining other banks in other parts of the world who are also using biometric authentication to interact with consumers.

Facial recognition is becoming an important tool for many applications involving people and cameras. As we continue to exit out of this global pandemic, facial recognition and more broadly facial analytics will continue to build in importance, even as the associated technical challenges and required capabilities grow.

Facial recognition used to be something we see only in movies, now it has become something we can use to literally receive bank services.The process of opening a bank with Capitec via this new feature is as easy as following these steps:

– Download the new Capitec Bank app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

– Scan your valid SA ID or passport.

– Take a few selfies.

– Enter your personal details.

When you take a selfie, the app uses facial recognition technology to scan your unique facial features and create a biometric signature. This is used to instantly verify your identity against the Department of Home Affairs database, to authenticate that it’s you opening the account. To enable this process to run smoothly you will need a smartphone, an email address and SA ID book or Smart ID card. This process will work with both Android and iOS operating systems.

This is just a beginning, Capitec will probably in the future start allowing banking app users to apply for more bank services using the same technology. It will be a matter of time before other banks also follow suit with similar services. This is a game changer for banking in South Africa.