Selfies: The next step in bank security?
Expert predicts the future of UAE digital banking
People in the UAE will soon be able to log into their bank account by taking a selfie.
That was the prediction of Marwan Elnakat, ebanking and eCommerce Security Solutions Director for the Middle East and Africa at digital security firm Gemalto.
He was speaking to 7DAYS ahead of the Middle East Banking Summit, which takes place in Dubai today.
Elnakat said: “Figures have shown that people here prefer biometric security to more traditional methods like pin codes. People will soon be able to take a selfie to access their accounts.”
He said that banks in the region will have no option but to embrace the technology such is the demand for digital banking among “millenials”.
“Banks need to invest more to ensure they have a presence here and maintain a strong brand,” he said. “They simply need to have a mobile app strategy.”
The technology is already in place but Elnakat claims that both banks and users have yet to get the best of it.
“Only 15-20 per cent of people who have a mobile banking app actually use it,” he said.
“There’s still much work that needs to be done just to raise awareness.” He added that it’s not enough for a bank just to offer online services, they have to offer enhanced services like biometric identification.
“Banks have to look at facial recognition and they need to integrate it efficiently,” he said. “Some already have the technology and could potentially offer a strong digital platform.
“That said there are still some who have mixed feelings about it but the service is not simply about just having a mobile app, there are wider challenges that have to be faced.”
Another facet of digital banking that Elnakat expects to see implemented is the capacity to withdraw money using your mobile app, instead of the more traditional method of using your bank card at an ATM.
When asked if the Middle East was ahead of the pack when it came to digital banking, he said: “It’s a growing market but the issues vary from area to area.
“What is clear is that it can’t be ignored. In 2017 there’s expected to be $1.3bn in digital transactions alone here.”
‘Only 15-20 per cent of people who have a mobile banking app actually use it.’ – ebanking expert Marwan Elnakat