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General News Aadhar may get face authentication feature next, testing going on
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he Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is reportedly looking at facial recognition's functionality for financial services that require Aadhar.

Vivek Raghavan, chief product manager and biometric architect at UIDAI spoke about the project which is being tested by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), during the Indian government’s RAISE 2020 Summit, Medianama reported.

"We don’t need to have this (face authentication) for every (Aadhaar) service, but it should be able to do it (sic) at any place and on any device," Raghavan said. He said that the UIDAI has built advanced liveness models to further strengthen the facial recognition algorithm.

As per the report, live detection allows a facial recognition system to ascertain that the face being shown to the camera is a real face and not another image on a separate screen.

Aadhar enabled Payment System (AePS) uses a Point of Scale machine,and instead of using a debit or credit card, uses a person’s Aadhaar number, which is linked to their banked account. The transaction is authenticated using the person’s biometrics which may include facial recognition as per the NPCI.

As per an August report by ET, the NPCI, with the approval of UIDAI, has already carried out a test rollout of facial recognition with four leading banks. Those who ran the pilot test are ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, RBL Bank and Fino Payments Bank, as per sources who told the publication.

The test was done on non-financial transactions in the first phase with plans for a full-scale rollout only if the results of the first-phase were satisfactory.

The facial recognition system is deemed more desirable as it will be contactless as against the current Aadhar enabled Payment System (AePS) which requires fingerprint scanning, that does not exactly follow distancing norms. Facial recognition requires a smartphone or other device running Android version 7 and above, while iris checks require a specialised machine.

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