Explainer: Biometric ATMs
Biometric ATMs are self-service automated teller machines (ATMs), or cash machines, that use a biometric measure to identify customers and allow them to withdraw cash.
Biometric authentication may be the only customer identifier used, or it may be used in conjunction with another format, such as a payment card, a mobile device or an additional security credential, such as a PIN.
The biometric measures used generally include palm or finger vein print biometrics, although they may also include other functionalities such as iris recognition or face recognition.
While most banks in North America have not yet ventured to use biometric solutions to enhance their customer offerings due to social and legal issues, many other financial institutions in the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, which are not restricted by law and custom, have experimented with viable implementations of biometric-enabled authentication systems for their customers.
Banks in Japan have widely deployed biometrics-enabled ATMs that allow customers to withdraw currency or conduct other transactions after a successful fingerprint or finger vein scan. There are currently more than 80,000 biometrics-enabled ATMs in Japan and more than 15 million customers using them. Similar programs have been launched in China, Brazil and India.
The driving “push” factor for biometric ATM adoption is that biometric technology shortens transaction time. It also provides security unlike other measures in common use. Using biometrics can deter crimes like Internet banking fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.