Biometric cash machines that scan the unique pattern of veins in users’ fingers to identify them will be rolled out in Poland by the end of this year.
ITCARD, the second largest operator of ATMs in Poland, is planning to install a minimum of 1,730 ATMs equipped with finger vein readers to create Europe’s first shared biometric ATM network that will allow customers of multiple banks to use the machines.
The network, known as Planet Cash, relies on technology supplied by Hitachi Europe that shines near infrared light generated by a bank of LEDs on a user’s finger to highlight their veins before using a small camera to capture and digitise the resulting pattern for comparison against a stored user template.
The scanners will allow customers to withdraw cash, check their balance and transfer money by simply scanning their finger, without use of their bank card or PIN number.
"Finger vein is a key technology in our company’s strategy. We’ve already been using this technology for ATMs in the cooperative banking sector. Once again, ITCARD is making a revolution in the market by launching the first biometric shared network in Europe which can be used by all banking customers," said CEO Jarosław Chrzanowski.
ITCARD has implemented a biometric host system allowing the different banks connected to the scheme to manage biometric transactions between themselves and the firm says it plans to offer biometric services to all Polish banks once the network has launched, with a number of commercial banks reportedly interested in joining the scheme.
"The Planet Cash project is the biggest step so far for ATMs in Europe that utilises finger vein technology to create a new standard for secure, quick and convenient banking transactions," said Tadeusz Woszczyński, regional manager for Central Eastern Europe in the Information Systems Group of Hitachi Europe.
Hitachi’s technology is already in use in Poland – Getin Bank uses the technology to authenticate operations and sign documents in their new branches and virtual teller machines, which connect users remotely with banking staff, and Bank BPH also uses it for customer identification and authorisation of transactions.
The finger vein technology is also used in around 3,000 ATMs operated by Türkiye İş Bankası, the biggest commercial bank in Turkey, and discussions about linking this to the Planet Cash network to create the world’s first international network of biometric ATMs have started.