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Nubank Adds Facial Biometrics to Fight Fraud

Less than a month after picking up an investment of $150 million, Brazilian fintech Nubank is leveraging facial biometrics to help combat credit card fraud.

The company provides a mobile-centric credit card and offers other payment services via its app. Nubank will enhance the security of its app using technology from fellow Brazilian innovator Acesso Digital to compare facial images of card applicant images with those available from a shared database used by Brazil’s biggest banks, retailers, and fintechs. The solution, AcessoBio, will be added to the data analytics technology already used by Nubank. The company said that the addition of a facial biometrics layer to the card application process will reduce both false rejections and identity fraud.

“From the customer’s point of view, the process of requesting the card remains simple, fast and transparent,”Nubank fraud prevention lead Guilhereme Wunsch said.

AcessoBio is the largest privately-run biometric database in Brazil, recording the biometrics of a million Brazilians a month. The company’s goal is to record the biometric data of the country’s entire financially-active population within the next three years. With customers in retail, healthcare, e-commerce, and telephony, as well as financial services, Acesso Digital was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Sao Paulo.

“AcessoBio optimizes the security and experience of customers in a simple and efficient way, while protecting the names of Brazilians at the same time,” Acesso Digital CEO and founder Diego Martins said.

Founded in 2013, Nubank is one of Brazil’s most well-funded fintechs, with support from DST Global Investment Partners, Founders Fund, QED, Goldman Sachs, and others. More than 13 million Brazilians have applied for Nubank’s credit cards and digital accounts. Recognized as a member of KPMG/H2 Ventures Fintech 100 in 2017, the company announced the upcoming launch of NuConta last fall. NuConta is a digital account it will offer in addition to its credit card business in a bid to reach the nation’s sizable underbanked population, estimated at as many as 60 million Brazilians.

As part of our FinDEVr New York 2016 developers conference, Nubank co-founder and CTO Edward Wible and Lead Software Engineer Lucas Cavalcanti presented Our Money, Our Rulebook. The presentation detailed how the company leveraged data science modeling to build an in-house accounting system with real-time customer visibility, guaranteed conservation of money, and customer account histories.