Biometric ATMs Give Bank Cards the Finger
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Biometric ATMs Give Bank Cards the Finger

ZDNet Australia | December 1, 2004

Bank customers in Colombia now have the option of using their fingerprints to withdraw cash from ATM machines.

Colombia's Bancafe Bank has partnered with technology company NCR to upgrade its ATM machines and allow its 2.5 million customers the option of accessing their accounts and withdrawing money using just their fingerprints and a PIN number.

According to NCR around 50 percent of Bancafe Bank's customers have signed up for the scheme and the bank expects that figure to grow as it upgrades its entire network of ATMs.

Mark Grossi, NCR’s chief technology officer, said that biometric technology is now reliable and cheap enough to be used in a banking environment.

"The technology has now matured to a stage where it is sufficiently robust and affordable to meet the needs of specific markets. In the case of Bancafe, fingerprint scanning has enabled the bank to expand their customer base by offering customers the option of cardless transactions," said Grossi.

Nelson Sanchez, commercial director at Bancafe, said the fingerprint technology has attracted new customers to the bank – many of whom were previously reluctant to open an account.

"Biometric-enabled ATMs have allowed us to target completely new market segments and provide groups such as pensioners and coffee growers with an easier and safer way of handling their money," said Sanchez.

Sanchez said the bank initially tested the technology on 170 ATMs and it is now live on three quarters of the bank’s 486 machines.

NCR said that there are currently no firm plans to deploy the technology outside of Colombia


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