Fingerprint based ATMs now launched to protect your money

CaptureBusiness Daily Africa – by CHARLES MWANIKI

Soon before you can get money from the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) a finger print will be required.

The simple act of withdrawing money from your accounts is about to enter a new phase of the digital age, following the introduction of ATM machines with a biometric fingerprint scanner.  

The fingerprint scanner, which will be used alongside the traditional PIN system, is the latest in a line of efforts by the banking industry to thwart the menace of ATM fraudsters and scammers.

A new line of ATM machines, launched last week, in Nairobi, by Diebold, an American tech company, and Kenyan IT solutions firm Tracom Services incorporates the biometric function alongside a raft of other security features to help banks and their customers fight fraudsters.

The extra safety features an the ATMs are being brought in as the banking industry moves from the old magnetic strip ATM cards and migrating to the new generation micro chip embedded cards that have the EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) technology designed to make it more difficult to illegally scan card details.


Speaking during the launch of the new ATMs, Diebold Product marketing manager of ATMs Martin Koffijberg said the biometric sensor will be optional on ATM machines as per the requirements of the banks.

“Card trapping is regaining popularity due to the EMV technology that has countered the problem of skimming. With the fingerprint required to complete a transaction, a fraudster who traps the card will still not be able to access the account afterwards,” said Mr Koffijberg.

In order for a customer to access the feature, he or she will have to submit additional details to the bank, including having their prints scanned and entered into the banks database.

The account will then be programmed so that the ATM machine demands a fingerprint authentication before allowing the transaction to go ahead.

“The fingerprint is the one unique thing that a fraudster cannot steal from a banks customer,” added Tracom Services business development manager Andrew Muiruri.

The new ATMs will additionally have a one way safety lock system that will prevent insertion of jammers into the money dispensing unit, helping deal with the problem of fraudsters who use jammers to block the cash from the ATM, removing it after a frustrated customer moves out of the ATM lobby.

The card insertion slot also comes with a sensor that detects whether any object other than the card is inserted, and stops the transaction detaining the card.

Scammers have been placing objects in the ATM slots which skim and mimic card details which are later used to duplicate the card and fraudulently fleece the owner’s account.


Other features on the new ATMs include two strategically placed mirrors on the top of the machine that help the customer detect over-the-shoulder PIN reading fraudsters, as well as an ultraviolet light point to help detect fake currency notes.

Standard Chartered customers fell victim to a card skimming scam in December 2012. They found anomalies, where withdrawals had been made from their accounts without their knowledge.

As a precautionary measure, the bank sent messages urging customers to change their ATM pin numbers.

These incidences led to the clamour in the industry to speed up adoption of the new technology, with the Kenya Bankers Association launching a cost shared scheme to have all banks migrate to the EMV technology by the end of September 2013.

9 thoughts on “Fingerprint based ATMs now launched to protect your money

  1. Can you think of a better way to procure the fingerprints of virtually every American (and illegal) than through the need to access your own money.

    In the name of “protection” we will be giving the banks a sure way to control us in the future. Is there any guarantee that the wonderful banks won’t be sharing our fingerprints with the DHS, or other intrusive agencies?

    They might as well chip everyone, the way things are going. This incemental approach is getting boring……..snooze!

  2. You remember that name don’t you? Diebold! The same company that brought you the fraudulent voting machines. Press the button for Al Gore and presto…W Bush has his name checked. If fingerprint verification was such a great idea why isn’t it on the voting machines? I’ll tell you why because then Diebold couldn’t cheat. Here is my thoughts on fingerprint ATM’s. The first time an ATM asks me for my thumb print I will say “no”, cancel my transaction then withdraw all my money from that bank, which I’m sure will be B of A, Wells Fartgo, Chase and the other LOOOOOsers who pay no income tax, steal our money and start wars.

  3. Do everything online.

    That aside, this is one more reason I will continue to NOT keep money in the bank.
    I deposit cash, just enough to cover whatever bill or bills need paying (by phone), and it’s out the same or next day at latest.

  4. I figured this was coming in 2005 with the Real ID Act.
    Those on board know about this and other covert forms to get everyone enlisted into the New World Order. (No thanks Bush Sr. given.)
    My wife and I will exit out of the process when this Fingerprint transition transpires into being;
    But!.., just to show our Banks how fallible their system is, we plan to replicate our fingerprints, then use them with our ATM cards and PIN codes.
    (Reciprocal Permission of course), and access said accounts).
    After succeeding, We plan on showing the Bank our Proverbial Digital Finger with said manipulation of their system, in order to demonstrate how easy it is to bypass it. Then we will close out the accounts and Give Our Regards To Broad Street.
    Nice thing about our plan is, that no crime will have been committed without our consent.

  5. Don’t use their stupid cards. Are they really more “convenient” than cash, or are they only more convenient for the bankers? I pay for everything in cash unless I buy it online, because it’s simply easier than wondering what my balance is, whether or not something was posted, or who might be hacking my card, stealing my money, etc. etc.

    When was the last time you were mugged? Is there really any danger in carrying cash, or is it more dangerous to leave your cash in the bank?

    Think about it. These cards were sold as a convenient way to shop and keep your money safe, but they’re really only a pain in the ass that opens you up to MORE risk of being robbed.

  6. Since Diebold is creating and marketing these things, you know it can’t be good. And if they want your fingerprint and RFID chip, the mark of the beast is upon us.

    The bastards are pushing at all angles to get rid of cash and to instill that chip in your right hand or forehead. How much more proof does one need?

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.