The way we conduct banking is fundamentally changing. In a quest for a superior and more secure customer experience, financial organisations are increasingly adopting biometrics in their digital banking channels.


A recent survey conducted by the SME Banking Club on behalf of Facephi sought to understand how banks employ biometrics within the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, focusing specifically on SMEs and business clientele.


The survey

The study focused on 10 countries within the CEE region and revealed interesting insights. Countries like Poland and The Czech Republic are leading the digital banking revolution, while others, like Bulgaria and Romania, are expected to follow suit in the next few years. 55% of the institutions surveyed are conventional banks, whereas 45% are fintech companies (including, non-banking lenders, factoring, and invoice finance companies).


Key findings from the survey

The research revealed that a considerable number of banks and fintech companies are integrating biometrics into their customer journeys:


  • 30% of banks and fintech companies have implemented remote customer onboarding for SME and business customers.
  • 50% of these institutions offer biometrics as a method for account login to digital banking channels.
  • 30% utilise facial biometric recognition for remote customer verification.
  • Almost 70% leverage biometrics, mainly fingerprints, as one of the methods for payment authorisation.


The future of CEE banking

As we look forward, the role of biometrics in banking will only grow. Evidence from our recent survey shows a budding interest in the sector, with 57% of financial organisations intending to implement biometric technology within the next 2-3 years.


Financial institutions in the region display a preference for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hybrid models when considering biometric solutions. The reasons are clear: these approaches provide much-needed flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.


However, alongside these advancements, there’s a pressing need to address onboarding challenges. Approximately half of the banks that have offered digital onboarding report an abandonment rate of 50%. This underlines a critical demand for more seamless, user-friendly customer journeys – an area where biometrics can make a significant difference. By simplifying processes and enhancing intuitiveness, biometrics could prove instrumental in improving the user experience and bolstering customer retention.

With these insights, the future of biometrics in the CEE banking sector appears promising. We see a clear trend towards digital transformation and customer-centric solutions.


For an in-depth understanding of the research and the implications of these findings for your financial institution, click here to read the full survey conducted by SME Banking Club and Facephi.

For more insights into how biometrics can transform digital onboarding in finance, check out our whitepaper on Agile Onboarding in Crypto and Fintech with Biometrics