CTBC Bank (中國信託銀行) yesterday said it plans to install at least five smart automated teller machines (ATMs) in the nation before the end of this year, after introducing a prototype equipped with facial recognition technology last year.
The new ATMs would be smarter than the bank’s current 5,900 machines, as they would be able to detect whether a user is engaged in suspicious activity or is being manipulated by scammers, CTBC retail banking department executive vice president Amy Yang (楊淑惠) told a news conference in Taipei.
The machines would automatically stop operating if a user is wearing a mask or helmet — two items that are commonly used by money mules, the bank said.
Photo: Lee Ching-hui, Taipei Times
Regular customers who wear masks or helmets should remove them before using the ATMs, it said.
Users who are talking on the phone while using the ATM would be considered a potential scam victim, Yang said.
The machine would issue warnings on the screen asking users if they are being given specific instructions by strangers, she said.
If the user says there is no problem about the phone call, they would be able to continue using the machine, she added.
CTBC said it plans to introduce in July one smart ATM at an unstaffed 7-Eleven store run by President Chain Store Corp (統一超商) in Taipei and another one at the bank’s flagship branch in the city, with the other three to be installed by the end of this year, Yang said.
The bank last year said that it was collaborating with the National Police Agency to stop crimes, such as notifying police when ATMs detect users who resemble criminal suspects.
However, it has halted the cooperation as some bank managers were worried that it might inconvenience innocent users, she said.
“The cooperation might be resumed if the [new ATMs] facial recognition feature proves to be reliable after a trial period,” Yang said.
The lender plans to open two new branches in Taiwan, CTBC Bank president James Chen (陳佳文) said.
Although many banks have closed some branches due to the development of financial technology, CTBC thinks that digital services cannot replace physical outlets, Chen said.
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