South Africa-based First National Bank (FNB) has rolled out a new ATM that uses biometrics to validate account holders.

Dubbed TouchPoint, the new device operates as a self-service kiosk and enables users to open new accounts using their thumb impressions.

Using the new ATM, customers can also carry out transactional banking including withdrawals, transfers and payments, view statements and card cancellations.

FNB Points of Presence CEO Lee-Anne van Zyl said: “The TouchPoint validates a customer’s identity by scanning a fingerprint placed on the biometric reader and it can detect false fingerprints to prevent fraud.

“The identity of the customer is then verified with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure the self-service account opening complies with the relevant laws.”

FNB said that the TouchPoint device has been successfully piloted in Gauteng since November 2017. Now a total of 50 devices will be installed in select townships over the next six months.

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“The introduction of biometric validation on self-service devices is an important step to making banking much more accessible to South African communities. As the use of biometric technology becomes more pervasive in the everyday life of customers, it’s important to use this technology to accelerate access to banking services,” van Zyl added.

The lender believes that the new service will strengthen its partnerships with small businesses in local communities and to provide affordable banking for customers at community retailers.