Aadhar may get face authentication feature next, testing going on

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is reportedly looking into the functionality of facial recognition for financial services requiring Aadhar.

Vivek Raghavan, chief product manager and biometric architect at UIDAI, spoke about the project that was tested by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), during the Indian government’s RAISE 2020 summit, Medianama reported.

“We don’t need to have this (face authentication) for every service (Aadhaar), but it should be able to do it (sic) anywhere and on any device,” Raghavan said. He said UIDAI has built advanced liveliness models to further strengthen the facial recognition algorithm.

According to the report, real-time detection allows a facial recognition system to ensure that the face shown to the camera is a real face and not another image on a separate screen.

The Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS) uses a Point of Scale machine and, instead of using a debit or credit card, uses a person’s Aadhaar number, which is linked to their bank account. The transaction is authenticated using the person’s biometrics which may include facial recognition according to the NPCI.

According to an August report by ET, the NPCI, with the approval of UIDAI, has already carried out a face recognition launch test with four leading banks. Those who ran the pilot test are ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, RBL Bank, and Fino Payments Bank, as per sources who told the publication.

Testing was done on non-financial transactions in the first phase with plans for a full-scale rollout only if the results of the first phase were satisfactory.

The facial recognition system is considered more desirable as it will be contactless than the current Aadhar enabled payment system (AePS) which requires fingerprint scanning, which does not exactly follow the distancing rules. Facial recognition requires a smartphone or other device running Android version 7 and higher, while iris controls require a specialized machine.

According to reports, facial recognition may be the next biometric required for Aadhar transaction authentication.

News Underline:

  • UIDAI is looking to introduce facial recognition for financial services.
  • In August, a pilot project was carried out which included ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, RBL Bank and Fino Payments Bank.
  • Facial recognition is also in line with social distancing norms compared to currently used fingerprint scanning.