Colombian banks pilot national digital IDs for transaction authentication

FACE RECOGNITION: Citizens can use the biometrics stored on their digital ID card for bank authentication

Residents of Colombia with a La Cédula Digital Colombiana digital national identity card can now use their facial biometric data stored on the National Registry of Civil Status to authenticate their identity when opening a bank account, requesting a loan or carrying out other transactions on mobile banking apps, at bank branches and at ATMs.

The registry is trialling the use of face recognition in the banking sector as part of plans to roll out biometric authentication via its digital ID databases to “all public and authorised entities” and promote uptake and usage of the Cédula Digital.

“Before, what happened, for example, is that there was a lot of identity theft, someone could easily open an account with a photocopy of an ID, request a loan with a bank or request a telephone line,” Colombia’s National Director of Identification Didier Chilito says.

“With biometric authentication the impersonation or theft of identity [is prevented]. In addition, it guarantees citizens that their data will only be used by them as owners, and that digital services will be protected by the use of biometrics as primary security elements

“To date, close to two million Colombians have processed the digital identity card and it is estimated that, by the end of the year, more than 10 million citizens will have transferred to the digital format,” the registry says.

It is also promoting the Cédula Digital with a series of videos posted on Twitter that show residents how to register for a digital ID card, including one with Colombian singer and record producer J Balvin.

Colombia launched the Cédula Digital in 2020, upgraded it to let Colombians use it as a passport for cross-border travel to eight other South American countries in August 2022 and enabled its citizens living in the USA to register for the digital ID document at consulates in 11 US cities earlier this year.

Colombian banks pilot national digital IDs for transaction authentication was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.