Polish bank claims Europe's first biometric cash point

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The Independent Online

Poland's cooperative BPS SA bank claimed Tuesday to be the first in Europe to install a biometric cash point allowing its clients to use their fingertips rather than a bank card to withdraw money.

"Our bank is the first in Europe to provide its clients with a new means to secure transactions to complement the secret code of their banking card," BPS SA Bank vice-president Krzysztof Jagielski told reporters Tuesday.

"Thanks to a system which scans blood vessels in fingers, they can withdraw cash from a bank machine," he said of a new BPS cash point installed in the capital Warsaw.

Based on "Finger Vein" technology developed by Japanese technology giant Hitachi, the bank machine which scans the unique network of minute veins in fingertips was developed by Wincor Nixdorf, a leading IT provider for retailers and retail banking.

BPS said it would install three to four of the new biometric machines in Warsaw by the end of the year, and about 200 more in the 365 banks in its network across Poland.

The new biometric machines will serve to "secure the payout of pensions at the end of the month and to guard against fraud such as 'skimming', or the theft of credit card information," Jagielski said.

Several dozen clients have already tested the system but "as with all technological changes, there must be some time for people to adapt," he added.

Although new to Europe, bank machines with the technology are already widely used in Japan.

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