Video chat merges with facial recognition

Facebanx screen

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."