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August 7, 2012updated 04 Apr 2017 1:05pm

Mekong Development Bank launches biometric debit card

Mekong Development Bank (MDB) and banking software vendor Temenos have launched Vietnams first biometric, fingerprint-enabled debit card. MDB has implemented Temenos T24 Biometric fingerprint authentication a first in Vietnam with the aim of providing the unbanked population of Vietnam with access to banking services. Only 20% of Vietnams populations of 86m people has a bank account. The lender has already implemented Temenos T24 core banking systems. Customer fingerprints will be captured by MDB at the point of opening an account and used at any one of 33 NCR SelfServ ATMs across Vietnam. Plans are in place to extend this service to other touch points over the next few months.

By Meghna Mukerjee

Mekong Development Bank (MDB) and banking software vendor Temenos have launched Vietnam’s first biometric, fingerprint-enabled debit card.

MDB has implemented Temenos T24 biometric fingerprint authentication – a first in Vietnam – with the aim of providing the ‘unbanked’ population of Vietnam with access to banking services. Only 20% of Vietnam’s populations of 86m people has a bank account.

The lender has already implemented Temenos’ T24 core banking systems.

Customer fingerprints will be captured by MDB at the point of opening an account and used at any one of 33 NCR SelfServ ATMs across Vietnam. Plans are in place to extend this service to other touch points over the next few months.

According to the lender, since the initial launch of the biometric, fingerprint-enabled debit card in June, MDB’s current account base has tripled and the deposit balance per debit card account is two times higher than a regular account without a debit card.

T24 Biometrics is, reportedly, in use at financial institutions across Africa, with MDB being its first Asian customer to adopt biometric authentication.

Deputy CEO and head of consumer business at MDB, Nicholas Chee, said delivering the biometric capability for the debit cards was made possible in “less than six months” as it was plugged into the already deployed Temenos T24 platform.

“Incorporating the technology at NCR SelfServ ATMs across Vietnam ensures that customers experience consistent biometric fingerprint capabilities throughout the country,” Chee added.

When surveyed after using the new debit card, 91% of MDB customers responded that they would recommend it to friends and family.

According to the technology provider, fingerprint identification is significant for the banking industry due to the personalised process of fingerprint identification heightening security and lowering the risk of fraud. The biometric capability can, reportedly, detect a pulse and know when a replica fingerprint or ‘dead’ finger is being used.

Managing director of NCR in Southeast Asia, Mike van der Wal, said:

“More than half the world’s population – concentrated in developing markets such as Vietnam – does not access formal banking services. Mekong Development Bank’s biometric NCR ATMs represent a major step forward in bringing banking services to the entire population of Vietnam.”

Lee Volante, director business solution group for APAC at Temenos, said the “future of biometrics across multiple channels such as mobile and online banking is now a possibility”.

Founded in 1992, MDB re-launched in 2009 under a new brand and has a network of 48 branch and outlets across Vietnam, with a shared ATM network of over 20,000 under the Smartlink system. The lender’s staff strength is over 1,200.

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