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Israeli banks Discount Bank and Bank Leumi to use biometric data to identify clients


Two major banks will soon become Israel’s first commercial institutions to use biometric data to securely authorize the identities of their clients, according to a report by Haaretz.

Earlier this week, Discount Bank announced that it will unveil in the coming weeks an iPhone application that enables clients to log into their bank accounts via biometric data.

Bank Leumi recently said it will introduce a similar application that uses fingerprint recognition to identify clients in the first quarter of 2015.

Despite Israeli banks slowly adopting biometric technology, they reportedly have no intention of installing biometric identification points at ATMs because of their expensive costs.

Meanwhile, some Israeli credit card companies are considering implementing mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay whereby customers are able to make purchases by placing their smartphones by a device at the till and scanning their fingerprint using their smartphones to confirm their identity.

The announcements come at a time when Israel’s Interior Ministry is slowly integrating biometrics, with its biometric database of citizens currently in pilot phase.

The Interior Ministry’s authority for managing the biometric database recently commissioned a survey to find out how biometric data is used by financial institutions in other countries around the world.

Previously reported, the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics released new data that shows a significant decline in the number of Israelis who have chosen to be issued biometric ID cards.

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