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Forgot your bank card? Aeon Bank ATMs will read fingerprints

JIJI

Get cash without your bankcard and PIN. Aeon Bank is to roll out automated teller machines that identify account holders solely by their fingerprints.

The lender, which is affiliated with retail giant Aeon Co., said Wednesday it will begin offering the machines in March. It will be the first bank nationwide to operate such ATMs.

The machine scans two fingerprints, checks them with records, and then allows a user to check the account balance, or make deposits, withdrawals and remittances.

For the time being, cash withdrawals and remittances will be limited to ¥1 million per day.

The ATM is based on a system developed by Liquid, a Tokyo-based startup, which has advanced fingerprint authentication technology.

One benefit of the service is that savers caught up in a natural disaster can obtain cash even if they are without their usual possessions, an Aeon Bank official said.

Moreover, users of the ATMs could cancel their cash cards, helping to reduce identity theft.

Those aged 18 or over who have ordinary deposit accounts at Aeon Bank will be able to register their fingerprints.

Aeon Bank plans to introduce one of the ATMs at a branch in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on a trial basis in February, whereupon savers will be able to apply to register their fingerprints.

The bank will launch the service fully around late March, with 5,500 ATMs planned nationwide from the summer.

  • Hans Gruber

    Using only fingerprints is a bad idea. You leave fingerprints on everything you touch. They can be lifted from a waterglass you use. Customers will also have to supply their fingerprints to the bank and if that database is stolen criminals can access the customers accounts and personal data at other institutions. When a fingerprint database of american government employees was stolen recently a computer expert warned: “And now, for the rest of their lives, 5.6 million US government employees need to remember that someone, somewhere, has their fingerprints. And we really don’t know the future value of this data. If, in twenty years, we routinely use our fingerprints at ATM machines, that fingerprint database will become very profitable to criminals. If fingerprints start being used on our computers to authorize our access to files and data, that database will become very profitable to spies.”

    • Jim Jimson

      The security is actually worse. One doesn’t even need to lift fingerprints from a glass; a high-resolution photograph taken from afar will suffice. See the Guardian article entitled “Hacker fakes German minister’s fingerprints using photos of her hands”