Technology firm Facebanx has developed an identity assurance software with the same name that combines video chat and facial recognition technology.

The company, a subsidiary of video chat specialist OhHi, says it has been designed as a weapon against online identity fraud, making it possible to compare freshly captured images against those on a database.

The potential of Facebanx comes from incorporating the software into an online registration process.

Matthew Silverstone, CEO of Facebanx, told TRPro that the key feature is that it requires a customer to submit a photo of themselves, taken through a laptop, tablet or mobile phone while going through the registration process. This prevents them from submitting a false image to fake an identity.

"Because it comes from a video stream it's not just adding a photo to any account," he said.

The image is then checked against the database. If a face matches a different name a customer service agent can contact the applicant, and if necessary launch a fraud investigation.

Silverstone said that Facebanx manages the database.

"Every company that subscribes to the service is a data controller, while we're just the data processor with the data sitting in central servers," he said. "It's very much data protection led – subscribers can't get someone to provide an image of their face then sell it on."

He acknowledged that Facebanx needs a critical mass of subscriber companies to make the system an effective weapon against identity fraud, and said it is talking to a number of banks, insurance companies, credit card providers, travel firms and retailers.

"We can see it getting to the smaller business sector when there's a tie to a firm like Experian or credit checkers," he said. "Smaller companies can also subscribe when they want to collect facial as well as personal details."