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Biometric cash machine lands in Europe

Touchy feely PIN-killer uses fingerprints

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A Polish bank has become the first in Europe to offer the use of biometrics instead of PINs at cash machines.

Customers of BPS visiting one of its ATM in Warsaw have the option of using placing their fingerprints on readers, instead inputting a four digit code, to authorise withdrawals or other transactions following the introduction of new technology this week.

The system is based on the recognition of the pattern of veins in an enrolled customer's finger, a form of biometric technology developed by Hitachi. The technology is already widely used in Japan but new to Europe.

Customers are still issued with the same debit or credit card and it's only the authorisation method that changes - a pre-registered fingerprint is offered as alternative to a memorised four-digit PIN - as illustrated by a picture of the technology in use at BPS here.

"Our bank is the first in Europe to provide its clients with a new means to secure transactions to complement the secret code of their banking card," said BPS Bank vice-president Krzysztof Jagielski.

Jagielski said the technology would help guard against losses from scams such as ATM skimming while making it easier for pensioners to withdraw state payments, AFP reports.

Three or four ATMs outfitted with biometric-recognition technology are to be installed in Warsaw by the end of the year, with plans to install a further 200 across Poland over an unspecified time period. ®

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