Seven Bank, a leading banking institution in Japan, has announced its intention to pioneer the nation’s first-ever facial recognition service for ATMs, according to a statement by President Masaaki Matsuhashi to Nikkei.
The service launched as early as March 2024, will enable customers to carry out transactions like cash deposits and withdrawals across approximately 20,000 ATMs around Japan.
Seven Bank, part of Seven-Eleven Japan’s parent company, Seven & i Holdings, plans to initially roll out this novel facial recognition service to its nearly 2.75 million account holders.
The service might also be extended to depositors from other banking institutions, depending on its success.
The Seven Bank ATMs, which are conveniently located in Seven-Eleven stores across the country, will be equipped to facilitate facial recognition.
To activate this feature, customers must register their facial details at a Seven Bank ATM, which will link it to their account information.
They will receive a unique ID mandatory for all future transactions as an additional security measure.
This will eliminate the need for customers to present their cash cards at the ATMs.
Presently, 13,000 of Seven Bank’s ATMs, roughly half of the total, are already fitted with facial recognition technology.
An additional 6,000 machines will be replaced with a new model developed in partnership with Japanese tech company NEC in 2019 to prepare for the new service rollout.
From September, Seven Bank will also facilitate customers to open new accounts or change their address details using ATMs equipped with facial recognition technology.
As the bank generates substantial revenue from ATM fees charged to other banks, it will encourage its partners to adopt similar technology, enabling their customers to use facial recognition at Seven Bank ATMs.
In a bid to diversify revenue, Seven Bank also has plans to open up its ATMs to nonfinancial businesses.
This would allow customers to sign up for services like smartphone contracts or verify their identity for activities such as concert ticket purchases.
“We want our ATMs to be used not just for deposits and withdrawals but as a terminal for various services,” Matsuhashi explained.
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