Citi ATM’s Stare Their Customers in the Eye

Citi announces plans for eye-scanning ATMs.

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Source: Diebold
Source: Diebold

This week Citigroup USA announced its plans to begin testing ATMs that can verify a customer’s identity through scanning their iris.

Once implemented this new biometric technology promises to provide quick, secure transactions that will offer greater security to both user and institution.

The bank will be using a system from that delivers a completely different user environment than what consumers are traditionally accustomed to. These new ATMs are cardless, PIN-less, do not have a screen or touchpad, and can complete a transaction in less than 20 seconds, making them a much less vulnerable target for fraud.

Users sign in with an app to select the amount they would like to withdraw and the machine verifies the identity of the patron with an eye scan or a smartphone code.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Citigroup’s move into this technology is a further indication that consumers across a number of markets globally have a growing appetite to do their banking via mobile devices.

Between 2013 and 2015, the WSJ writes, there has been an 8% increase amongst US consumers who elect mobile as a first choice for their basic banking, a rise from 5% to 13%.

Source: Diebold
Source: Diebold

The WSJ said Citigroup joins a number of US banks who are experimenting with cardless ATM access including The Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase.

A subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal, BMO Harris, already has 900 cardless ATMs in operation with the WSJ reporting a growing customer base for their use.

Just when Citigroup will officially roll out the new ATM could be a long way off, said observers, since a transition will cost a great deal of time and money.

Locally ING Direct announced last week that it will take advantage of Apple’s Touch ID as a way for their customers to login to their mobile app. Citi’s announcement, along with ING Direct’s initial foray into the world of biometrics, indicates that biometrics is a powerful tool to secure consumer confidence and deliver a banking product with ease and efficiency.