Canara Bank rolls out mobile biometric ATMs
By Our Corporate Bureau | 21 Sep 2007
Canara Bank has rolled out its first mobile biometric ATM, to enable people in rural areas to get access to modern banking facilities. RBI deputy governor Usha Thorat inaugurated the bank's first such unit at Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bangalore, on Thursday 20 September.
The new ATM is operated by RFID-enabled smart cards, and has a hand-held device to capture fingerprints. It also has a customer lobby with information on the bank's financial products. The bank plans to launch nine more mobile ATMs in the next few months.
The customer's fingerprints can be captured either at a bank branch or at the customer's home, registered by transmission through a CDMA handset and later stored in the biometric server. The transaction is authenticated by the customer's fingerprint instead of a PIN, and a pre-recorded voice system guides the customer through the process, in the appropriate regional language.
The system enables illiterate people to check their account balances, as well as withdraw cash from their accounts. The customers can also operate their accounts in branches where Canara Bank's biometric ATMs have been installed. At present, they are available in five states.
Canara Bank chairman and MD MBN Rao said the bank is likely to deploy more biometric ATMs in rural and semi-urban areas. Each smart card costs around Rs100, while the hand-held device costs a "few thousand rupees", bank officials said.
Presently part of a pilot project, smart cards will be provided to customers of Eliyur in Devanahalli and Sulakunte in Kuluvanahalli. Customers can also use the service through designated business correspondents or representatives trained to provide banking services in their own villages.