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ATMs to Get Face Identification System

Posted January. 17, 2009 07:56,   


Police said yesterday that all automatic teller machines nationwide will have a face identification system to help capture and prevent criminals from withdrawing money using stolen cards.

This action comes in the wake of a female college student who went missing in the southern Seoul suburb of Gunpo last month.

The day she went missing around 7:30 p.m., a masked man withdrew 700,000 won (515 U.S. dollars) from an automatic teller machine using one of her credit cards at a bank in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province.

Police said a closed-circuit installed in the bank captured the alleged criminal but failed to identify him due to the inability to recognize his face.

The facial recognition system will allow users to use the machine only after identification and verification measures from a digital image are completed.

If the machine fails to identify a user’s face due to sunglasses or a mask, the machine will automatically suspend service.

In a consultation with the Financial Supervisory Service, the Korea Federation of Banks and staff from commercial banks, police discussed the face recognition system for ATMs.

“We first reached a consensus to introduce the system in areas with frequent incidents before expanding nationwide,” an officer said.

In 2005, a commercial bank introduced a pilot face identification system for ATMs, but canceled it since the bank had no reason to install the system because of insurance.