Selfie banking app launched in Philippines

Selfie-secured payments are now a reality in the Philippines.

With e-banking on the increase, EON has developed a secure selfie banking app which allows customers to receive payments without going to a bank, and to shop online.

UnionBank Manila selfie Bankinga

Paolo Eugenio Baltao, senior VP, head of business transformation with the Transaction Banking Group, says the selfie banking app uses the same facial recognition technology as UK’s Atom Bank and the Department of Homeland Security in the US.  

“This is the first selfie-banking implementation in the Philippines,” says Baltao. “The other banks have not even gone to that extent – the farthest they have gone to is touch ID.”

BUt he said fingerprint confirmations have limitations because not many phones have fingerprint scanners.

“That’s why we went into selfie banking. Even entry-level phones have decent front facing cameras, making it accessible to everyone who owns a smartphone.”

Customers using the EON app are required to take a selfie to register. For added security,users are required to blink when taking the photo, somehow reducing the risk of unauthorized users hacking accounts.

The EON app comes with an EON card, which can be purchased at 7-11 stores or at Lazada, for P150. This includes P50 credits. Users top up the card at the store, then use with the app to make purchases or transfer cash.

“The whole experience we are offering is attuned to the lifestyle of the online freelancer or online entrepreneur,” says Baltao. “We didn’t make this for someone digital savvy but who lacks the digital behavior of an online freelancer and online entrepreneur. But we believe that in the future that people will gravitate toward that digital behavior.”

New customers signing up for the selfie banking app get a subscription to My Shopping Box, which is worth US$25. My Shopping Box subscription gives you a US address where Amazon purchases go to and then will be redirected to your address in the Philippines.


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