Fingerprint software to revolutionise cash machines

A Scottish cash machine maker plans to create ATMs which allow customers to ­withdraw money by smartphone or fingerprint.

Researchers at NCR’s Dundee-based centre for excellence launched the new Kalpana ­software yesterday.

The software is set to revolutionise self-service automated teller machines, which first ­appeared nearly 50 years ago, by letting banks put apps on their screens.

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The software can be operated by smartphone or by downloading a fingerprint to uniquely identify a user.

Developers said the new ­system was “not about the PIN [personal identification number], but what you can do after you enter the PIN”.

The range of features which can be offered include arranging an overdraft or transferring cash to another account in emergencies. The transaction can be prepared on the smartphone prior to arriving at the cash machine.

The fingerprint technology – which is already used extensively in new markets such as India and Latin America – lets customers put their fingertip on the fingerprint reader on the ATM to launch the service rather than using a PIN.

Kalpana moves ATM software and technology to the cloud (storing digital data in logical pools). NCR said the technology would greatly enhance security and would be a more cost-effective system for banks to operate.

Cardtronics – the world’s largest retail ATM owner/operator – has plans to pilot the Kalpana software at locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area later this spring. The technology could be operating worldwide within two years.

Andy Heyman, president of NCR Financial Services, said the new software would reshape banking for customers and business. He added: “NCR’s Kalpana software is the most disruptive change to the ATM ecosystem in decades. Business and consumer applications are increasingly turning to enterprise or cloud-based solutions that reshape security and enable fast, nimble and dynamic customer experiences.

“Kalpana software is ideal for financial institutions and independent ATM deployed looking to improve security, quickly advance service delivery through technology, and reshape their cost to serve.”

Robert Johnston, director of enterprise software at NCR in Dundee, said: “The technology banks and customers use has changed dramatically. It is now up to banks to decide for themselves which particular facilities to offer their customers.”

NCR, which has its headquarters in Georgia in the US, estimates Kalpana software can reduce the cost of running an ATM network by up to 40 per cent.

The first ATM was invented by Scottish software engineer John Shepherd-Barron and installed in London in 1967.