In the midst of the pandemic, the Argentine government and financial institutions ran into a problem. The legislation of that country requires pensioners to give their lives regularly to collect their benefits and, with the virus very much present, there were only two options: suspend this obligation or look for an alternative to prevent the elderly from having to move. to the branches to complete the procedure.
That’s when several of the country’s leading banking groups turned their attention to FacePhi, a software development firm from Alicante that for several years has become one of the benchmarks in the application of recognition programs. facial in the banking sector, especially in Latin America.
Its latest development is not only able to reliably identify any face, but it can also determine that the image comes from a live human visitor and not from a photograph or video, just what they needed. at that time the Argentine bankers.
The company also got some headlines a few months ago, announcing that its programs were able to recognize anyone, even with the mask on, thanks to periocular recognition technology, that is, the contour of the eyes. An advance that several of the customers demanded of the firm when the coronavirus began to expand, according to the company’s CEO, Javier Mira, who founded the company with his partner, Salvador Martí, in 2012, after a failed first attempt in which they failed to secure the funding needed to develop the technology with which they now succeed, something that forced them to close their previous company, F7 Corporation.
They simply arrived early, when mobiles didn’t even have a front-facing camera to take a selfie and online banking was still a matter of a few advances, as the executive himself points out. Now, on the other hand, the impetus received by the use of biometrics to ensure the security of financial transactions – and to say goodbye to complicated passwords, which are always forgotten – has surprised the firm at the right time, when they have a developed and proven technology, and the necessary resources to continue growing, thanks to the support of the Swiss fund Nice & Green. The firm is also one of the few Spanish companies listed on the BME Growth and Euronext. Thus, just a few weeks ago, it communicated to the market that it had 33 million financing at its disposal to continue with its expansion projects.
Of the six contracts they won in 2018, they went to 13 in 2019 and last year they closed another 22. In total, more than 70 entities are already using their applications, which, for example, allow them to complete everything. the process of registering a remote client, as its software is able to read all the data of an identity card, determine the veracity of the document and establish that the person performing the process is the same as appears in the photograph. In Spain, CaixaBank has focused on its technology, starting to implement it in its network of ATMs so that its customers can withdraw money and carry out operations without having to enter the card’s PIN. A system that will be installed in about 1,700 terminals this year.
However, the firm’s main market is in Latin America, where FacePhi decided to focus its efforts on seeing a greater business opportunity, according to its CEO, due to the high levels of attempted fraud recorded by the entities. in many of these countries.
Branch in South Korea
In addition, the company has found another niche in South Korea, where it has even established a subsidiary, in the face of acceptance of its products. “For us it is very important, because it is a leading country in the development of new technologies,” says Mira. In addition, it is the market where they have begun to open their applications to new sectors, such as healthcare.