Wellington Scoop

Wellington company launches high-tech facial recognition tool

News from RealAML
Wellington-based RegTech, RealAML is leading the way in digital compliance, launching the first locally built facial recognition tool for NZ businesses to identify their clients beyond a doubt.

“Buying NZ made usually means paying more for it, however, that’s not the case with FaceMatch. Now NZ businesses have the option to use a high-tech identity tool that’s not only locally built but affordable.” RealAML CEO Jordan McCown said today.

“Post lockdown we continue to see increased demand for our web-based tools. Month-on-month between May and June we’ve seen a 311% increase in remote identity checks. We believe this trend will become the status quo as remote identification means doing business faster.”

“Fantastic. Almost makes AML fun – if that’s possible. Congratulations on having developed a game-changer.” (Chris Gollins, Gollins Commercial – Wellington)

FaceMatch joins RealAML’s suite of powerful AML and identity tools that include QuickID, PEPCheck, and OutSourced AML.

Before FaceMatch, NZ businesses captured by the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) only had the option of overseas built and more expensive biometric technology. For most, they probably didn’t even know they were paying for a resold overseas product.

The entire FaceMatch identity process can be completed online, in less than 60 seconds. Through our web-based platform, a business sends an SMS to their client. After clicking a link on their smartphone and granting consent, the client selects an ID document and takes a photo of their ID. FaceMatch can then extract their identity data and run an electronic identity verification check through our QuickID.

Once the client is successfully identified they are prompted to take two liveliness photos. FaceMatch then analyses these photos against the photo from their ID document. The results are instantly sent to the requesting business.

FaceMatch works by analysing the facial attributes of a face through facial landmarks such as the position of eyes, pupils, nose, mouth, and jawline. Location anchors are then created from the face in the ID document for comparison to the face in the liveliness photos taken by the client. If FaceMatch is successful, a confidence value between 80% and 100% is given. Additional checks are run on the ID document to ensure it’s valid, isn’t expired, or a sample, and in some cases, the extracted data from the ID document is cross-referenced to the QuickID check.

FaceMatch identity checks can be run on clients located in NZ and 13 other countries including Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, China, and more. RealAML is web-based, meaning no apps to download, and can be used from anywhere, and on any device.

RealAML launched in March 2019 and is already used by over 500 NZ financial, legal, accounting, and real estate firms including Cruickshank Pryde, Bayleys, Moore Markhams, and more. RealAML provides a subscription-free service with no setup costs or minimum monthly spend.

FaceMatch launched on Monday the 6th of July, 2020. In 10 days more than 4,000 individuals have been identified remotely using FaceMatch. Of those, over 92%, or 3,688 were successfully identified beyond a doubt.

The launch of FaceMatch comes just weeks after RealAML was certified New Zealand Made®.

Try FaceMatch for free at app.realaml.com/sign-up


  1. Peter Kerr, 16. July 2020, 16:38

    “Of those, over 92%, or 3,688 were successfully identified beyond a doubt.”
    What happens to the other 312 poor bastards who miss out?

  2. Simon, 16. July 2020, 17:56

    I am curious to know if the digital images used for identity checks are retained by the platform, or deleted after use.

    If retained:
    1) what protections are in place to ensure the security of the data, given it holds a strong potential for identity fraud if compromised?
    2) are any data sharing arrangements are in place, and, if yes, are the entities with whom the data is to be shared transparent to users?

    Technology like this is hungry for data to optimise the offering. Capturing information from “free tests” is one way to achieve this. Perhaps readers should avoid the sample offered above unless they are comfortable with how this data will be used – your personal data is an asset, don’t just give it away.

  3. Jordan, RealAML, 17. July 2020, 18:17

    Hi Peter. The 312 who didn’t pass FaceMatch still had their identity verified through our QuickID product (just the biometric link was missing).
    Businesses who use FaceMatch to identify their clients have the option to resend FaceMatch to those who initially failed. Plus, under AML legislation businesses can implement another mechanism to link a client to their claimed identity. For example, phoning the customer on a number that has been verified by a reliable and independent source.

  4. Jordan, RealAML, 17. July 2020, 18:37

    Hi Simon. Really good questions.
    Firstly, FaceMatch is a process that analyses images captured in real-time between a captured photo on an identity document and photos taken of themselves by the individual. Therefore, FaceMatch doesn’t verify real-time photos of an individual to a database of digital images.
    The digital images used for FaceMatch are retained on a PDF report within our business users’ dashboards. We retain these reports for five years to meet NZ AML recording keeping obligations for our users.
    RealAML is a cloud-based platform hosted by Google Cloud Platform, where all data is encrypted at Rest. Additional security measures are used such as Cloudflare that protects against DDoS attacks.
    RealAML (the provider of FaceMatch) does not share any of its user’s data with third parties. Our users own their data.
    Our free tests aren’t for capturing data, but simply a way of showcasing our tools through a try before you buy scenario.


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