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Blockchain-based biometric ATM prototype developed for the Saudi Arabian market


Alhamrani Universal, the largest automated teller machine provider in Saudi Arabia, has partnered with ShoCard to develop a biometric ATM prototype that will enable consumers to use a blockchain-based app and their face instead of a PIN to withdraw money. The ShoCard-powered ATM communicates across banks and uses the blockchain to confirm an individual’s identity without accessing the bank’s database.

The prototype is currently undergoing testing and is likely to be rolled out in production soon.

“The ShoCard solution will solve the issue of card fraud at ATMs that continues to plague banks and consumers.” explains Armin Ebrahimi, founder and CEO of ShoCard. “It fits nicely into existing ATM technology, which usually already has a camera installed, and makes the customer experience as seamless as possible. At the same time, it utilizes blockchain technology to protect individuals’ identity while confirming the information that banks need to verify that a withdrawal is legitimate.”

The ShoCard solution incorporates biometrics as part of a five-factor authentication process that includes the ShoCard ID, a QR Code, timestamps, session IDs and other certifications methods. According to the announcement, as banks across the region start to adopt biometric technology for authentication and verification at ATMs, AU’s ATMs will be able to verify customers irrelevant of their banking partner due to the use of blockchain and biometrics together.

“We’re delighted to be working with ShoCard to develop a blockchain-based biometric ATM that will play a major role in helping to reduce fraud for consumers,” said Mr. Tariq Abdat, CEO of Alhamrani Universal. “Digital transformation is a key pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and collaborating with trusted technology partners such as ShoCard allows us to offer solutions that meet ever-growing demands for innovations.”

Biometric ATMs were introduced for customer use in Taiwan and Spain this month. CaixaBank collaborated with FacePhi and Fujitsu on the Spanish roll out and NEC technology is behind the new facial recognition cash machines in Taiwan. In January it was reported that Japan’s Seven Bank will begin to incorporate facial recognition technology in its ATMs as soon as this fall to enable users to open bank accounts directly through the machines.

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