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CaixaBank customers can use their faces to withdraw money at ATMs

Spanish bank begins roll-out of ATMs equipped with facial recognition technology, but customers can still use card and PIN

Spanish bank CaixaBank has installed ATMs that use facial recognition to authenticate customers, enabling them to withdraw money without needing a card or PIN.

An initial batch of 20 terminals have been installed in the bank’s branches in Barcelona, and a wider roll-out is planned in the second half of this year.

The technology was developed with Fujitsu and face recognition developer FacePhi. The ATM can validate up to 16,000 points on the image of the user’s face, but customers will still be able to use a card and PIN if they prefer.

Benjamí Puigdevall, head of digital at CaixaBank, said: “In the current financial context of digital transformation, security and agility are key in transactions, and the incorporation of biometric technology at ATMs offers multiple benefits in these two areas.

“This commitment to facial recognition strengthens CaixaBank’s position among the companies with the most advanced ATMs around the world.”

The bank conducted a survey of customers before deciding to roll out the technology and found that 70% of respondents would be ready to use it as an alternative to entering their personal identification code on a keyboard.

A sense of security was seen as an advantage of face recognition for 66% of those surveyed. Convenience were seen as important for 19% and speed for 15% of the respondents.

Read more about digital initiatives at CaixaBank

In 2017, CaixaBank integrated face recognition technology into its mobile app for customers using iPhone X smartphones.

The use of biometric technology has been a long-held strategy at the bank. Back in 2015, it enabled mobile banking customers to make transactions using a voice-controlled app.

At the time, the bank said it would add other biometric features in the future, including fingerprint identification.

Caixabank serves about 30% of Spain’s retail bank customers, and 5.2 million use its mobile banking app.

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