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ANZ to examine use of biometrics for everyday banking


Australian and New Zealand bank ANZ will introduce new technologies including near field communication and will seriously consider implementing biometrics over the next three to five years to improve the quality of its banking services throughout Australia.

The implementation of the new technologies will be designed to simplify ANZ’s distribution networks and its products and processes, while providing customers with additional mobile and flexible banking options, while concurrently improving the capability of front-line staff.

As part of its US$1.5 billion investment in new services over the next five years, ANZ will debut a service branded FastPay. ANZ FastPay will be Australia’s first mobile banking app that allows small businesses to more effectively manage their cash flow by securely processing same day settlement of credit and debit card payments using an iPhone or iPad.

ANZ also confirmed that it will launch a trial of ANZ mobile wallet, which is a contactless mobile phone payments system using NFC technology on Android devices.

ANZ further announced a series of new technology initiatives, including the rollout of videoconferencing equipment at 43 regional and remote branches, plus 800 next-generation ATMs from NEC Corporation.

ANZ Australia chief Phil Chronican said however it would take two to three years before biometrics became a reality in banking.

“It’s probably two to three years before we get commercialization with biometrics in banking but obviously it does overcome the issues we have around security at the moment where PINs and codes are so easily intercepted,” Mr Chronican said.

Citing a recent survey the bank commissioned, he noted that 79 percent of Australians said they would be comfortable with fingerprint technology one day replacing their banking PIN and more than one third of Australians would prefer to live in a cashless world.

Futurist Ross Dawson said the survey shows Australians are willing to lead the way in the uptake of this kind of technology but it will be up to the banks to respond: “Cash could be on the way out and it’s realistic to imagine a world in which we carry no notes or coins, or even credit or debit cards. Before long we may use our fingerprints or even retina scans to make payments. Australians have shown they are comfortable with biometric identification, because it combines convenience with security.”

Approximately 1,200 people took part in the ANZ-commissioned survey conducted by Newspoll in August.

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