A Japanese banking group has announced it will soon be offering its customers the opportunity to make ATM cash withdrawals using palm-scanning biometric technology, doing away with the need for bank cards and books.
Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank (OKB) said the system, which is set to be introduced in September, was developed by Japanese technology company Fujitsu and functions by analysing the unique vein pattern of an individual’s palm.
Though some banks in the country already use palm-recognition technology at ATMs, they also require the use of a bank card or book. OKB is claiming a world first in that its system requires no such extras. For added security, however, customers will be asked to enter a PIN number and their date of birth.
OKB said it was the aftermath of last year’s devastating Great East Japan Earthquake which inspired it to come up with a way for customers to withdraw cash without the need for a card or book.
The quake and ensuing tsunami caused countless numbers of people to lose many of their possessions, which of course included items needed for banking transactions. With no proof of who they were, getting hold of funds turned into a lengthy and stressful process for many people affected by the disaster.
While the system could undoubtedly be useful in disaster situations, OKB also hopes its new ATMs will prove popular with customers in less calamitous times, especially those who have a tendency to turn up to withdraw money only to find they’ve left their card and book at home.
The new system, which the bank is publicizing with the tagline “You are the cash card”, will be introduced at 10 OKB banks, including several in one of the country’s biggest cities, Nagoya.