China Merchants Bank launches ATMs with facial recognition

China Merchants Bank said it has implemented nine of its facial recognition-enabled ATMs in the city of Shenzhen, adjacent to the China–Hong Kong border, according to a report by South China Morning Post.

The company said it will soon expand the rollout of the ATMs with facial recognition software throughout the city, with plans to update the bank’s 12,000 ATMs in China by the end of the year.

The feature will enable customers to have their picture be captured in real time by the machine, which will then compare the image to a verified photo of the individual stored in the bank’s database.

Once verified, users will be required to enter their phone number and PIN as an additional security measure before they are able to make a cash withdrawal.

The facial recognition software uses a highly-accurate algorithm that analyzes facial characteristics and shape, as well as the angle at which the image was captured, said China Merchants Bank.

The bank has also tested the facial recognition technology by using it as a secondary measure to aid bank tellers in verifying customers’ identity.

The bank recently introduced the facial recognition-enabled ATMs at the China International Exhibition on Financial Banking Technology and Equipment in Shanghai.

The ATMs will have a daily withdrawal limit of 3,000 yuan (US$473) in adherence to Chinese regulations. Therefore, those customers who wish to withdraw more cash will have to use their bank card.

Previously reported, China’s Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based Tzekwan Technology announced in May they have designed and developed the world’s first ATM that features an embedded facial recognition feature.

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