China's facial recognition technology to boost online financing

Updated: 2016-03-05 10:41


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In December, SenseTime won two first prizes in the ImageNet contest, the "Olympics of the Computer Vision Industry." The first time a Chinese company has won.

Apart from online financing, the technology is also used in surveillance security, shopping malls, social media, and hardware.

"China's online lending service is set to expand and it can bring more financial services to the small business owners who have difficulty in lending from large banks," said Ye Daqing.

Policy incentive

In response to the online financing trend, China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, allowed banks to experiment with biometric identification technology for new personal bank accounts, late last year.

Apart from human faces, fingerprints, voiceprints, iris and handwriting have all been identified as useful data for programmed computers to verify identification. But so far, facial recognition is the most ready for commercial due to its accuracy.

Ping'an Bank was among the first few banks to integrate facial recognition technology into its counter services, and since last July nearly one million users in more than 30 cities have benefited from it when applying for credit cards.

The technology has shortened the application time from over seven days to around four, while saving several million yuan in annual labor costs, said Zhang Shen from Ping'an's credit card risk control department.

"Sophisticated banks will become more competitive if they could make good use of the Internet to break geographic restrictions," said Zhang.

But how fast China's online financing market will grow still depends on technical standardization and policy rules of the regulating authorities, said Ye Daqing.

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