WSJ By Peter Rudegeair Oct. 25, 2015 7:27 p.m. ET
The Eye-Scanning ATM Is Here
Citigroup is developing technology with ATM producer Diebold that would allow customers to withdraw money with an eyeball scan instead of a card swipe. This new technology is the latest demand by banks to find secure ways for consumers to access their cash than the standard ATM card transaction. More recent, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America started internally testing their own card-less ATM technologies. Citigroup’s R&D group says they will need a new ATM machine that does not have a touchpad. Instead, customers would first check the bank’s mobile app on their smartphone/tablet ahead of time to sign in and select how much money they want to withdraw. Then, once they’re at the machine, it would quickly scan their eyes to verify identity. After scanning the eyes, the ATM would spit out the right amount of cash. Citigroup tested that the card-less transactions take about 15 seconds to complete compared with around 45 seconds for more traditional transactions.
Advocates say this new technologies may give banks an advantage to against frauds that aim at ATMs. Credit-scoring and analytics firm FICO said “ in May that the number of attacks on consumers’ debit cards used at ATMs in roughly the first three months of the year hit the highest level in at least 20 years.” Wayne Malone, Citigroup’s head of global ATMs said “Everyone is doing more and more on their mobile device." Between 2013 and 2015, the share of bank customers who said their first preference for basic banking was using their mobile phone rose to 13% from 5%, according to Javelin. Now, interest from some of the largest U.S. banks signals that more consumers may see the option. “Larger players sometimes like to wait on the sidelines a little longer to see if a product has merit before investing in it,” said Daniel Van Dyke, an analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research.