Bank customers in China put best face forward to get money from ATMs

China 24

Bank customers in China put best face forward to get money from ATMs

Have you ever gone to an automatic teller machine to get cash — and forgotten your bank card?

That’s not a problem at some places in China. All you have to do is — look into a camera.

It’s the concept behind some new technology in Shanghai.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.

It used to be if you wanted money at an ATM in China, you had to have a card.

“If I brought my card and lost it, I would have to reapply, which is really troublesome,” said customer Zhou Ning.

But now, all Zhou Ning needs is her face.

“Withdrawing money like this, I do not have to put all my bank cards in my purse,” she said.

Zhou Ning is a customer at the Agricultural Bank of China whose ATMs come with facial recognition technology.

The machines come with cameras that scan the client’s facial features.  They’re then compared with the photo from their national ID card.

“The captured facial features should be in line with people’s identification cards,” said Li Jie, Head of the Fangtai Branch of the Agricultural Bank of China.  “For example, foreheads should be exposed. And for eyeglasses, if a person did not wear eyeglasses when applying for his or her identification card, the person should remove his or her eyeglasses.”

A confirmation of their phone number completes the process.

The technology is also designed to improve security.

“It can prevent criminals from installing illegal devices on ATMs to steal customer information,” said Li Jie.  “From the perspective of banking services, we can further enhance the convenience of Agriculture Bank of China customers, as well as further enhance the security of our customers’ account funds information and account security.”

To deal with the rush of the Spring Festival, the bank installed 350 ATMs with the specialized technology. 

The move comes three years after China Merchants Bank became the first bank in the country to use it. 

CMB now has about a thousand of the specialized ATMs in more than 100 cities.