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DCB Bank to introduce iris scans for Aadhaar authentication

Indian financial institution DCB Bank will soon introduce a new feature at all its branches which enables Aadhaar-registered customers to perform transactions by scanning their iris,, according to a report by Economic Times.

The bank recently completed a three-week pilot program at 10 branches in rural or semi-urban areas in which it processed about 200 accounts.

This included 100 new pre-opened accounts, which took the bank about a day to map the customer’s iris biometric details to a particular account. Current customers can also update their Aadhaar number using the iris scan.

“More than 100-crore Indians have Aadhaar,” said DCB Bank CEO Murali M Natrajan. “Many customers complain about not receiving the debit cards or PIN. We already have an ATM which does not require debit card or PIN, and can operate with only the person’s Aadhaar number. In addition to fingerprint, you can also use iris scan to authenticate a person with Aadhaar.”

To open an account, customers will be required to share their Aadhaar number as well as scan their iris using an iris scan-enabled tablet.

The bank representative will point the camera directly at the customer’s eyes for about three to five seconds.

If the image matches the iris photograph stored on the Aadhaar database, customers will be granted access to their account.

“We want to test it for another month or so,” said Natrajan. “The devices we use for the iris scan currently cost about Rs 13,000 (US$192) per device. We believe for us to roll it out completely, we need a slightly cheaper solution. Something closer to the Rs 7,000-8,000 (US$103-118) range.

“Currently, we have trained 230 people in using the iris scan system on the devices, which will be covering roughly about 112 branches in the coming few days,” said Narendranath Mishra, rural business specialist at DCB Bank.

DCB Bank launched nearly 70 Aadhaar-based ATMs in Bangalore last June, which enables customers to withdraw cash via fingerprint authentication through Aadhaar.

The bank will slowly roll out the new feature to all of its nearly 250 branches across India within the next six months.

Previously reported, India`s DCB Bank introduced an Aadhaar-based ATM where a customer can initiate transactions using their Aadhaar number and fingerprint details instead of a PIN.

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