Why do I have to do facial recognition in the BBVA app?

MEXICO CITY.-BBVA asks its users to access the mobile application through facial registration, which has raised doubts in this regard.

For some time, users of the BBVA application have wondered why it is mandatory to access their account through an easy reader, since since it was activated, it only allows you to skip this step 3 times.

What is facial recognition?

It is a technology that can determine the identity of a person by reading the physical characteristics of the face.

Facial recognition is used to generate greater security for an access account. However, in the case of BBVA, it does not replace the password, that is, as a user you have to continue entering the app with your password, so why do they register your face?

Biometric data, a requirement for banks

The first thing you should know is that since 2019 banking institutions began to be required to provide the biometric data of their customers, that is, their fingerprints, iris, voice and facial recognition in order to prevent fraud and identity theft. in financial services.

According to data from Banxico, Mexico ranks eighth worldwide in identity theft, largely with cases of loss of documents (67%), theft of wallets and portfolios (63%) and information stolen directly from the cards banking (53%).

Some banks already ask to authenticate the user through voice recognition, which does not seem to cause much of a problem for people, however, BBVA is the only app that requires face data. This is what the company says about it:

  • No one can see the facial recognition data and only the user can modify them from the “Privacy and security” section
  • The app will only request facial recognition when an activation is attempted with another phone.
  • With facial recognition the bank intends to avoid fraud and provide greater security.


How should biometric data be used?

They should be used when the client makes a face-to-face operation, such as a desk balance inquiry, withdrawal for more than a certain amount with a debit card or wishes to open an account. The identification of the client will be compared with the records previously obtained, which will allow to detect any impersonation attempt.

The main biometric data are:

Voice imprint. One of the increasingly common methods in banks such as Santander and Citibanamex. With the voice print, the frequency, speed and accent are verified to match those of the enrolled client. This fixed password method takes less than 2 seconds to authenticate.

Fingerprint. Validate that the characteristics are the same as those registered in the INE. Banks such as Banorte, Banco Azteca and Citibanamex, among others, already make the use of the fingerprint mandatory in a branch when clients request to open an account, consumer loans, in the event of a digital banking contract or cancellation, request or delivery of a credit card. credit or debit, etc.

Facial recognition. In this case, the features of the captured face are identified and that these have the same distance between the pupils, position of the nose and dimensions against the characteristics registered by the person. BBVA and Banorte apps already have a scheme of this type thanks to authentication through selfies.

As an extra piece of information: Face registration cannot be done if the phone does not have a front camera or selfie.

You can also read:

Biometrics will soon help you board a plane faster

89% of Mexicans use biometric technology


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