Chinese Researchers Launch What they Claim is ‘Word’s First’ ATM with Facial Recognition Technology

A team of researchers in China has successfully developed an automated teller machine that mitigates the cases of theft by using face recognition technology. This is reportedly the first such attempt to improve security at ATMs, said reports in Chinese media. The team behind this innovative project was working under the aegis of the Tsinghua University in association with a firm, Tzekwan Technology, which is headquartered in Hangzhou. The researchers started off with the intention to provide a solution that helps make financial transactions at ATM more secure, and devised this method as a result, said a report in South China Morning Post.

According to the chairman of Tzekwan, GuZikun, who is also an expert in anti-counterfeiting technology, the new technology will effectively help curb crime related to financial transactions carried out via ATMs. Currently, China relies greatly on ATM technology sourced from abroad. But this new machine, which offers a combination of facial recognition with high-speed banknote handling and better counterfeit-bill recognition, is based entirely on Chinese technology.

Gu further added that the product had also received a nod from Chinese authorities via a certification and it would be sold on the market soon. However, there is no clarity yet from either parties as to who will manufacture these advanced ATMs. The team has also not provided details about how the machine will capture facial data.

The new comes close on the heels of the launch of a campaign called ‘Made in China’, which endeavors to help shift the image of mainland China as being a low-end mass manufacturing hub to a producer of high-quality goods and products over the next decade.

Currently, cash machines that make use of fingerprint-based authentication are increasingly being seen on the market, especially in Colombia and Chile. However, countries such as the U.S. have refrained from using fingerprint authentication at ATMs due to the privacy concerns associated with them (not to mention the high cost). 

But this new range of ATMs in China will soon form a part of the public banks and security networks in the country.


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