e-Teller first in Chile to use facial recognition for banking

Customers in Chile no longer rely on debit cards to access in-branch services after a new e-Teller system was introduced nationwide in July. Now, a fingerprint or facial scan is all that’s required, making each interaction even faster for customers and more secure from the standpoint of fraud prevention.

Integrating innovative, yet mature, biometrics technology into the e-Teller system across all 129 branches in Chile was a 12-month initiative that supports the Bank’s commitment to standardize the banking experience globally. In fact, Scotiabank is the first bank in Chile to use facial recognition in teller systems.

“This is a true innovative global product,” said Gaston Battiato, Chief Information Officer, International Banking. “The team reused the original codebase from one country, customized it for the next market and added new features along the way, like biometrics, to further enhance the customer experience.”

e-Teller is a screen next to a human teller at which the customer does a fingerprint or facial scan to access their account. The e-Teller system got its start in the Caribbean, then was scaled to Colombia and now Chile, where customer branch transactions take under five minutes and are paperless instead of 10 to 15 minutes spent filling out physical forms.

“Our teams have created a best-in-class experience for branch banking customers by improving anti-fraud security, reducing transaction time and automating administrative processes to improve customer experience and reduce operational risk,” said Eduardo Meynet, Vice President of Operations, Scotiabank Chile. “The modern cloud-based platform is more intuitive, safer, quicker and overall increases branch staff efficiency, allowing us to devote more time to our customers and their financial needs.”

Branch employees in Chile benefit too. They can access the system using biometrics, a feature that has reduced login time from six to two minutes. Employees also get an alert to transfer cash to the Bank vault when the amount reaches a certain limit — reducing risk and increasing physical safety.

Virginia Mantero, Director and Global Technology Product Owner for e-Teller, said that along with reusing codebase, the innovation provides many other improvements. “We modernized the underlying technology platform to ensure system currency, eliminated manual paper processes, and removed PIN pads, which are expensive to maintain,” said Mantero.

Implementing e-Teller in Chile was completed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic when teams were working 100% remotely. “That’s another notch in the Bank’s belt, showing that technology innovation can happen anywhere, anytime with a collaborative team,” said Mantero.

Next up, e-Teller will be implemented in Panama and Costa Rica. The team is also looking into possibly implementing in Canada.