Facial recognition, smartphone bank launches in Brazil

Neon bank, a smartphone-only bank that is targeted at younger people and uses biometric technology, has launched in Brazil this week and aims to sign up 100,000 customers in its first year.

Neon, founded by 24-year-old Pedro Conrade, doesn’t have any monthly or annual fees and explicitly targets the millennial crowd.

“My distaste with the traditional banking model started after a disastrous experience during international travel where my bank didn’t bother to help me through a tough situation. It was then that I realized I was just another number to them,” said Conrade.

screenshots of neon bank smartphone application in action showing facial recognition and biometrics

How does it work

Upon opening an account customers will receive a Visa card in both a physical and virtual format for in-store and online purchases respectively.

Bank accounts can be accessed through the bank’s smartphone application and rather than using usernames or passwords, users will be identified by facial recognition.

The biometric tech is powered by US company, Daon. The bank’s goal is to reach 100,000 customers in Brazil in its first 12 months.

“We are a bank founded by young people conceived for a new generation of banking customer. Our focus is to encourage sound financial planning and education to ensure that the youth of this country will not start their lives in debt,” added Conrade.

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