Sat, Dec 08, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Banks unveil ATMs with biometric security features

IMPERFECT:While several lenders are to introduce facial-recognition technology, Bank SinoPac has focused on palm scanners, which can differentiate betaween twins

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

A Bank SinoPac employee demonstrates the lender’s new palm vein authentication system at FinTech Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Wang Meng-lun, Taipei Times

Several banks yesterday introduced automated teller machines (ATMs) equipped with facial recognition, palm scanners and anti-crime software at FinTech Taipei, but one said differentiating between identical twins remains a challenge.

CTBC Bank Co (中國信託銀行) in July introduced facial-recognition technology to one of its ATMs in President Chain Store Corp’s (統一超商) second unstaffed 7-Eleven in Taipei, but the ATM is only available to the bank’s staff due to risk concerns, retail banking department vice president Anne Chou (周起筠) said.

“Next year, we will allow our clients to use the ATM and might expand its use to other banks’ clients after a trial period,” Chou said.

The bank has spent eight months developing the anti-crime software for the ATM and held several meetings with the National Police Agency, she said.

“We do not want the ATM to be a tool of crime,” Chou said.

The software, combined with facial recognition, can issue warnings on the machine’s screen to verify with customers if they are being manipulated; for example, if it sees them using the keypad while talking on the phone, CTBC Bank data research and development center manager Jiro Lee (李藝鋒) said.

If users are wearing surgical masks or safety helmets, the ATM would ask them to remove the items, aiming to discourage the use of money mules, Lee said.

The bank said that it plans to install the anti-crime software in two other ATMs in the second quarter of next year, with more machines to be added if the trial is effective.

Taishin International Bank (台新銀行) plans to launch its first facial recognition-equipped ATM next week at its branch in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), followed by three more at three branches in New Taipei City and Taipei at a later date.

Given that the facial recognition function of some smartphones has failed to differentiate between identical twins, the bank said that it would still require customers to key in their personal identification number before the ATM can be used for withdrawals and money transfers.

Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行) is focusing its efforts on technologies other than facial recognition, which does not guarantee improved security.

Instead, it said that it would implement a palm scanner, because even identical twins have different veins.

After an initial scan, customers would be able to use the bank’s new ATM by scanning their palms, Bank SinoPac said, adding that people do not like to use fingerprint scanners, which are already mature in Taiwan, “as it feels like being booked at a police station.”

It said that it was waiting for approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission to launch the new machine.

A Line Financial Taiwan Corp (台灣連線金融科技) report released on Tuesday found that 53 percent of Taiwanese consumers trust financial technology services, the second-lowest level among seven Asian nations, while 52 percent said that they looked forward to the development of cashless transactions, the third-highest level.

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