SMFG to establish biometrics company

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri Shimbun Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (SMFG) plans to establish a company that provides biometric authentication services together with a major Japanese IT company and an Irish company as early as this spring, according to sources.

Biometric authentication can identify an individual from their fingerprints, face and voice.

When a person carries out various internet transactions such as paying for shopping or reserving travel tickets, they have the option to use their fingerprints and face instead of a password for identification, via a dedicated smartphone application.

SMFG will have a more than 50 percent stake in the new company, and a Japanese major IT company is also considering investing in the new company.

At present, smartphone biometric authentication is limited to unlocking devices and identifying individuals for some payments.

The new company aims to expand its target to include all internet services, and make them available for finance, mail order and other areas. The company will start the services as early as this spring.

In the finance industry, the competition is fierce surrounding FinTech, or financial services using IT. Improving financial security is becoming a core issue. If Japanese banks lead the services in the field, it is expected to expand Japanese financial services and the internet market.Speech

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