Face Authentication

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What is face authentication?

Face authentication is a form of verifying a customer is who they say they are by performing a biometric scan of their face. Also known as facial recognition, this customer authentication technology matches the biometric data of the customer’s face with the faceprint data originally shared by that customer.

Today, this technology can also include an extra layer of security called a liveness detector. Basically, it protects against ID spoofing by having the user create specific movements or poses with their face, like smiling or blinking to verify they are present.

What are the other main types of authentication?

Financial institutions often use a blend of authentication solutions to ensure their customers are protected from fraudsters. This can include other biometrics, like a thumbprint, payment authentication, mobile authentication, and browser authentication.

Ideally, authentication should be kept up to date to offer strong security against fraud threats which are constantly evolving and growing more sophisticated.

Face authentication vs face recognition

Face authentication is used to determine the identity of a person when they want to gain access to a device like their laptop or an application on their mobile phone or a service, like making a peer-to-peer payment. in this case, the person’s face is matched against their own faceprint.

The purpose of facial recognition is to identify someone in a video, photo or in real-time. In this case, a faceprint is run through a database of faceprints, usually by a law enforcement agency or at an airport, for instance.

How does face authentication work when purchasing online?

When a customer is making a digital banking payment or wanting to add a trusted device like a new mobile phone, using face authentication can add an extra layer of security that differentiates real customers from a fraudster impersonating them.

Face authentication can also help streamline the account recovery process for customers, saving time and reducing costs for banks’ call centers. Banks may also choose to verify a customer’s identity with a face scan when they’re about to make a high-risk transaction.

Additional resources:


Face authentication | Biometric authentication | Transaction fraud