The new 'thumb'rule for banking

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: Less than a month after India got its first batch of biometric ATMs in villages, Hyderabad-based Andhra Bank has proposed to set up a large number of biometric ATMs through the country. The bank intended to have as many as 150 biometric ATMs in place during the next year. “A thumb impression can’t be copied or stolen and is highly individualistic. It thus forms a good basis for us to launch ATMs using biometrics,” said Andhra Bank CMD K Ramakrishnan. The bank already has three biometric ATMs.

Biometric ATMs were initially implemented in rural Southern India at village kiosks. The scanner kiosks would service over 100,000 people who will scan their fingerprints rather than swiping a card with a PIN number. "Many banks here are keen on this idea of doing away with ATM cards," said Sunil Udupa, CEO of AGS Infotech, the company supplying the first batch of ATMs to the five districts in India.

“Our studies have revealed it is not just the rural/semi-urban branches where such biometric ATMs would be needed but even our customers in metro/urban centers have evinced interest in such machines,” Ramakrishnan said adding that the cost of such a roll-out (of biometric ATMs) would be low given the decreasing price of hardware and ATMs.

According to Financial Software and Systems, which helped design security protocol for the new system, the country is scheduled to increase the number of ATMs from 35,000 to 100,000 in the next three years.

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