In the aftermath of the earthquake and following tsunami in Japan, many people were left with no cash cards to access funds. Now, a Japanese bank is pioneering new technology which could prevent this from happening again.
Anyone who has ever mislaid his or her bank card will remember the sheer frustration it entails – having to traipse into a branch with your passport, and possibly endure the horror of queueing, until your new card eventually arrives.
This may soon be a thing of the past, at least in Japan. A regional bank has announced that in September it will roll out a number of palm-reading ATMs, possibly making the bank card a thing of the past.
Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank in Gifu prefecture will launch the new system across ten of its ATMs using technology pioneered by IT giant Fujitsu. According to Fujitsu, the system assesses vein patterns to distinguish between different people.
Users will simply have to scan their hand and enter a PIN and their date of birth and then they will receive the desired cash amount in the usual fashion.
The motivation behind this innovative banking system is more than just efficiency. It stems from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked havoc and left many people without their personal ID documents and cards.
The bank states that it will be the first in Japan and the second in the world to introduce biometric-dependent ATMs, after Turkey’s largest state bank, Ziraat Bank brought in palm-reading technology.
Time will tell whether the idea will spread further, but if it does we will no longer have to worry about losing, destroying or forgetting our precious bank cards.