FNB considering fingerprint ATMs

2014-03-19 08:29
ATMs may undergo a transformation with the introduction of fingerprint technology. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

ATMs may undergo a transformation with the introduction of fingerprint technology. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Fingerprint recognition technology may make an appearance at your nearest FNB ATM soon, the bank hinted.

"Biometrics are obviously great because especially we can tie it back to home affairs. We are making sure that your identity is safe and we know exactly who you are," Kim Gibson-Van der Walt, head of dotFNB told News24.

The dotFNB division of First National bank is intended to push the technology boundaries of what banking could be and the introduction of biometric ATMs is one of the considerations for the near future.

"It's another level of identity protection. Yes, biometrics are the way of the future and I'm sure we're going to see technology come through at FNB," said Gibson-Van der Walt.

Fingerprint ATMs have been rolled out in Brazil and Kenya where the technology is used alongside the PIN card as a second form of authentication to cut down on bank fraud.

Digital tools

The tech division offers digital tools for customers to interact with bank officials and provides help for customers who wish to learn how to operated bank apps as well as online channels for queries and complaints.

"Obviously it will attract new customers, hopefully. The tech savvy ones that want to interact with the devices and want staff to interact with them that are tech savvy," Gibson-Van der Walt said of the vision for the dotFNB store.

There are currently nine dotFNB stores and they have been sited in high traffic areas like shopping malls. FNB officials demonstrated to journalists an interactive window where a prospective customer could request a new account outside of banking hours.

The branches also employ video conferencing technology so that a customer may communicate with consultants for home loan queries, for example.

"The specialist products like your home loans and share investing we host through the video conference, but absolutely, this is the new face of banking," said Gibson-Van der Walt.

She said that the reasoning for the technology push was that customers were opting to use alternative means to conduct banking, and though traditional branches would not be closed immediately, there is a clear shift toward technology in banking.

"We see a decline in the volume in our branches and obviously an increase in the amount of cash and transactions working through our self-service terminals," Gibson-Van der Walt said.

Technology testing

"So we understand that people are migrating to technology: That is the trend, worldwide and in South Africa," she added.

As for when you might use your fingerprints at an ATM, Gibson-Van der Walt hinted that technology testing was underway.

"I think it's too soon to tell, but we're always piloting in our test beds all the new technology that's out there and as soon as we feel it's ready, we will roll it out."

This YouTube video illustrates FNB officials explaining the vision of the dotFNB stores.

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