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CBTC Approves 3D Camera for Facial Verification Use in Banking
COVID-19 and China
Orbbec's booth at Japan IT Week 2019. Image: Credit to Orbbec.

Orbbec (奥比中光) announced that its 3D camera Seagull (Haiyan, 海燕) passed Chinese Bankcard Testing Center’s 3D facial recognition test and is allowed to be used in the bank system, reported on July 15, 2019.

Since June 2019, Bankcard Testing Center started to issue biometric identification certificates to companies like Orbbec. Axion Intelligence (杭州艾芯智能) is the first company certificated by Chinese Bankcard Testing Center (CBTC).

Axion Intelligence and Orbbec both produce 3D camera and provide facial recognition solutions based on their own products. 3D facial recognition is one of the best biometric identification approaches.

Its competitiveness lies in the universality, uniqueness, collectability, and other metrics. Light and accessories might interfere with the identification process, but fintech scenario is comparatively an ideal collection scenario for facial recognition technology comparing with the pan-security scenario.

Facial recognition technology’s application in fintech area is pioneered by the third-party payment solution provider Alipay, an Ant Financial-owned company of and the largest third-party payment. At the meantime, commercial banks are catching up this pioneer in implementing facial verification.

Ali Pay’s latest facial identification solution is named Dragonfly (蜻蜓, Qingting in Chinese). Its Pay with Face (pay with facial verification) has been adopted in tier 1 cities. The fast food chain KFC in China started to employ Pay with Face in 2017 and more are joining the Pay-with-Face payment solution.

Other third-party payment solution providers like JD Finance and Union Pay also joined the Pay with Face league. For Chinese traditional commercial banks, facial recognition technology is not as widely adopted as third-party payment solution providers while these banks’ smartphone apps are seldom used in the mobile-pay scenario. The adoption of facial recognition in mobile payment area have some conditions, and user coverage is an important one.

Inspired by the innovation and progress made in computer vision (CV) technologies, fintech is a small application scenario. For retailers, facial recognition technologies can assist them to monitor stores’ customer flows and provide convenient membership services.

Using facial recognition technology, new customers can subscribe to a membership without 5-minute long paper-filling process, and old customers are easily recognized by the system and can enjoy the membership benefits automatically.

The facial recognition technology is yet to be improved. The commercial value of facial recognition is only a tip of the CV iceberg. Dr. Wang Jian (王坚), the chairman of Technology Steering Committee at Alibaba and formerly the chief technology officer of Alibaba, once said, “Facial recognition is only a small part of CV technology, and there we can do more to reshape industries.”

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