Biometrics, including fingerprints, retinal scans, and voice or face recognition, are increasingly gaining ground as a means of authenticating payments. Now selfies are starting to be used by a growing number of not only FinTech but also InsurTech companies as a new identification tool.
Most startups that make use of smartphone self-portraits (selfies) do so for aesthetic or entertainment purposes. Mainly in connection with mobile apps, selfies are proving especially useful in the beauty and fashion sector – for virtual try-outs of makeup (as with the Augmented Reality images offered by Canadian startup Modiface, which was recently acquired by L'Oréal), hair-styling (with the Madi chatbot created by California-based Madison Reed), for trying on clothes, or even for helping to decide on acne treatment (MDacne). Meanwhile, on a much lighter note, French firms Selfie pour mamie (literally: Selfie for Granny) and even more recently Postmii specialize in turning digital selfies into on-paper printouts and postcards for sending to older loved ones. In similar vein, Selffee enables customers to superimpose a self-portrait on to a cookie, cake or other edibles.
Smile, you're now insured!
Not only FinTech specialists are keen to switch to the use of facial characteristics as proof of ID: insurance sector players are also thinking of doing so. Quite apart from their direct business-process application, biometrics can also help to estimate people's life expectancy and consequently a number of life insurance companies are now using face recognition as part of their application procedure. US Artificial Intelligence specialist Lapetus Solutions offers a variety of facial analysis solutions that are proving especially useful for companies whose business depends on predicting future events, especially life expectancy – including, in addition to life insurance, financial planning, healthcare services and pension funds.
"The industry will be forced to expand how they utilize technology to engage the consumer and lower their overall costs. Biometrics will most likely play a significant role as well as other forms of technology." - Janet Anderson