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Face ID today, digital DNA tomorrow

12:01am November 04 2017

Facial recognition is part of the evolution of biometrics in banking where it’s less about what customers can remember and more about who they are. (Getty Images)

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?

As General Manager, Consumer Digital, Travis leads all things digital for Westpac Group’s consumer brands. An advocate for seamless digital experiences, Travis is always looking to the next wave of innovation. He draws on a dynamic range of skills; with over 20 years’ experience including senior positions in Finance, Product and Operations. Travis lives in Bronte with his wife Christine, daughter Violet, and the family dog, Bernard. Travis loves to stay fit and healthy and catch the occasional wave.

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