Ten commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions in Thailand are set to participate in the Bank of Thailand’s (BoT) regulatory sandbox project to test-run the use of biometric technology to electronically verify the identity of customers, according to media reports.

The Bank of Thailand’s assistant governor Siritida Panomwan told media in a press conference on Monday that the electronic know your customer (eKYC) technology would be trialled as a way to ensure security and the electronic verification of customers.

However, Siritida said that currently, the ten participating firms have yet to successfully complete the project due to minor technical glitches that still need to be resolved.

“Hopefully, the BoT anticipates that participants will finish the biometric test run before the end of (the) fourth quarter,” the reports quoted the assistant governor as saying. “The BoT still needs to roll out policies, regulations and criteria to ensure a smooth and problem-free operation before eKYC goes into effect.”

“During phase 1 we will be focusing on using biometric technology to verify a customer’s identity when opening a savings account,” the assistant governor added. “If the implementation is successful, banks and other financial institutions can adapt the technology to other aspects of their services without having to seek for BoT’s permission to enter the sandbox project again.”

Siritida added that many financial institutions had already applied for licenses to conduct e-payment and e-money businesses.

The electronic payment versions are very popular and hassle-free and BoT has already granted licenses to some 100 operators and is expecting to see more new operators in the coming years, Siritida said, according to the reports.

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by Krishna V Kurup
Senior Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence
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