Costa Rican financial services fight phishing with facial recognition software

Coopeservidores, one of the largest credit unions in Costa Rica, is adding facial recognition technology from FacePhi Biometrics to its mobile banking app, the second in a run of Costa Rican financial services to adopt the technology.

The credit union, which manages more than EUR600 million in assets, will use FacePhi’s system for authenticating members through phone cameras when they log in to the mobile banking app.

The deal is Madrid-based FacePhi’s second contract win in Costa Rica, coming on the heels of an agreement with Grupo Mutual for the facial recognition system for mobile banking.

The vendor claims that Grupo Mutual is the first financial institution to use a facial biometrics system to ensure the security of its clients when they access to their private account online.

The move comes in the wake of widespread reports of phishing attacks perpetrated against online banking customers in Costa Rica.

Grupo Mutual is currently testing the technology with staff but plans to roll it out to 250,000 clients in January. Although initially the focus will be on mobile banking authentication, facial recognition could later be used for other purposes.

“Facial recognition technology is the most single way to ensure the passwords and access of the clients and it lets us to avoid the banking fraud by phishing, which is one of our biggest concerns,” said Juan Carlos Miranda, technical manager at Grupo Mutual.

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