Banks are looking for regulatory authorities to allow them to use apps for biometric verification of customers for using digital banking and other services.
According to them, customized apps for biometric verification will not only provide ease to the customers including senior citizens and patients but it will also reduce the workload of bankers which has increased tremendously amid risks and pressure in the prevailing situation.
It is high time that the banking regulator, banks and their customers utilize the easiest, foolproof, technology-based options of banking that have evolved worldwide, a banking official commented.
Mobile apps of banks are not only good for biometric verification of customers and their accounts but it can introduce a variety of options to customers at large for self-banking such as applying for a loan relief facility, added the official.
Recently, the central bank had waived charges of various options of digital banking in order to promote these options for customers.
The banking regulator also suspended the condition of biometric verification of customers and their accounts for introducing the option of digital banking—mobile and internet banking on a temporary basis.
Resultingly, banks are witnessing decent growth in its userbase switching to mobile and internet banking for the purpose of transactions, utility bill payments, mobile top-ups, and purchasing goods and services.
It is likely that customers will have to visit their respective banks’ branches once the prevailing situation is over in the coming days, hence this will add an extra workload on the bank’s staff.
Last year, a few banks introduced a mobile app for biometric verification of the customers. This not only reduced the branch visits of the customers but also helped people sitting in a different country or those stuck in a difficult situation.
The banks that introduced this app include Meezan Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank Alfalah and Silk Bank.
NADRA Disables Biometric Verification of Bank Customers via Apps
Previously in July 2019, National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) had disabled the app-based verification system citing the absence of the banking regulator as a guarantor for regularizing the option.
The database authority said that it had signed an agreement with banks for the biometric verification of their customers at branches and ATMs but apps are not covered in the agreement.
In the past, a number of patients and elder people availed these apps that are quite relevant in the grave situation we are facing today, said an official of a bank that introduced biometric verification service through an app.
Had the service continued, a significant number of bank customers especially overseas Pakistanis could have utilized it for biometric verification. Moreover, a number of banks would have introduced the feature in their apps for the same purpose, he added on the condition of anonymity.
The central bank has been aggressive these days in the emergency situation to provide ease to customers and businessmen. Hopefully, it may review the option of using a mobile app for customer verification and self-banking.
Mobile apps of the aforementioned banks work with a mobile phone with a high-resolution camera. Customers need to enter the CNIC and the registered phone number to conclude the process.
There were many happy customers who availed this facility to get their bank accounts verified. The experience of some customers was not good with the app since it did not work for them while others raised security concerns of personal data usage using this app.
However, banks can improve their apps for meeting both concerns—user experience and data security.