CaixaBank is the world’s first bank to use facial recognition as a PIN substitute to withdraw cash at ATMs

Customers demand speed, simplicity and security in their digital interactions. The technology industry gives them passwords, smart cards and dongles – and with them the problem of remembering which one should be used for which service. Biometric identification solves many of these key ID verification problems bedevilling the digital economy. CaixaBank’s launch of its game-changing biometric ATMs shows how face recognition is moving mainstream

Facial recognition is becoming a part of our daily lives increasingly, especially with phones that are unlocked by detecting the characteristics of our faces through artificial intelligence programs. facial recognition in banking industry

In this field, CaixaBank is innovating by integrating facial recognition into its ATMs.


Withdrawing money without a PIN code facial recognition in banking industry

The purpose of using facial recognition at CaixaBank is to replace the PIN codes (Personal Identification Numbers) that everyone must enter into the ATM to withdraw money. It is always possible to choose the means of withdrawal, and customers do not have to use facial recognition. They can also enter their PIN code.

Before the customer can make a cash withdrawal without using their PIN code, they must register and have themselves photographed so that their facial features can be stored and reused by the ATM.

The system allows users to withdraw money by simply recognizing them from the image captured by the terminal’s camera. The ATM has the hardware and software needed to validate up to 16,000 points on the image of the user’s face, which guarantees a totally secure identification. The system, developed with technological partners Fujitsu and FacePhi, is currently in place in 20 ATM terminals and will be rolled out across the bank’s new digital-oriented ‘Store’ offices from the second half of 2019.

CaixaBank was the first bank in Spain to incorporate Face ID technology into its security system for mobile banking on iPhone X devices, in a sense a precursor of these new ATMs.

Digitalization in banking may rely on data, but it starts with changing customer behaviour. In the case of CaixaBank, of its more than 10 billion annual transactions, 32% are via cards/point-of-sale, 24% are via web/internet and 33% are via mobile.

Going mobile

Here, too, CaixaBank has led the way: in 2016, it launched imaginBank, Spain’s first mobile-only bank. The model marked a radical departure from the traditional multi-channel approach adopted by the banking sector, with users managing their finances autonomously via mobile apps and social media only. Customers sign up directly through the mobile app, so not only does it give them the speed and ease of use they want, but it also gives them a completely personalized experience: owing to the investment the bank has made in data and analytics, clients who log on to their imaginBank app are presented with a customized menu of products and services based on their profile with the bank.

In addition, in 2017, imaginBank customers became the first in Spain to be able to use an intelligent chatbot to explore new products and services. Gina, available through imaginBank and Facebook messenger and driven by IBM Watson technology, can provide information on all the offers and promotions available to a customer, tailored to their circumstances. What’s more, Gina inspired the launch of CaixaBank’s own chatbot Neo, providing customers with answers to more than 450 questions through 100% voice conversations, and which, through the launch of subsequent specialized apps, enabled CaixaBank to become the first financial entity in Spain accessible via both Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
With new projects involving AI and blockchain in the works, CaixaBank’s digital leadership looks set to continue.

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