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

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

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.