Indian Finance ministry plans biometric ATMs

January 21, 2013 - 

In an attempt to encourage greater Aadhaar enrollment, the finance ministry in India has asked all public sector and rural banks to speed up the implementation of biometric ATMS, hindustantimes reports.

Banks have been asked to set up biometric ATMs in rural and semi-rural areas, where the penetration of services is low. These ATMs would be operated and managed by private players, reducing the burden on banks and will use fingerprint scanners to to authenticate users.

Earlier this month, as the hindustantimes article reports, the ministry has also issued instructions to all public sector banks to prepare a database of its customers, including banks account and Aadhaar number.

Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank, a regional rural bank sponsored by the State Bank of India, recently opened 105 of what the company has called “ultra small branches,” which essentially consist of a handheld biometric device to authenticate users and a remote data connection.

As reported previously in, the Indian government recently launched Saral Money, a unique financial services and electronic payments program which utilizes Aadhaar numbers to issue Visa Instant Accounts and pre-paid cards to applicants.

The finance ministry has also asked banks in the country to seek the Aadhaar numbers of its customers in a bid to forge greater links between banking information and national identity numbers. This will help transfer government money into bank accounts and will also help to track financial transactions.

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Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj