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Finger print based ATMs coming soon

Govt decides to set up Aadhaar based money machines in rural and semi-urban areas, Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 15, 2013 20:51 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Your finger print or eye scan may soon be enough to withdraw cash from ATMs. For that, you will require a biometric based Aadhaar number.

In a bid to encourage higher enrollment for unique identification or Aadhaar number, the finance ministry has asked all public sector and rural banks to speed up setting up biometric cash dispensers.

Unlike the conventional ATMs, where you have to key in your pin number for a debit card, one’s finger print logs him or her into the bank account. “It is after an online authentication of the finger print from a UIDAI centre,” a senior government official said. Once that is done, a person can perform banking transaction like in any other ATM.

In the first go, the banks have been asked to set up biometric money machines in rural and semi-rural areas, where penetration of banking services is low and online facilities are available. Thereafter, it would be spread into other parts of India.

The move is aimed at making people enroll for Aadhaar, which is still very low even in the 20 pilot districts where direct benefit transfer was implemented from January 1, 2013. The ministry has already announced its plan to extend the transfer of benefits directly into bank accounts of people in 43 districts by this March.

The dispensing machines would be operated and managed by private players which would help in reducing the burden on banks, where number of accounts would increase manifold because of the direct benefit scheme.

In addition to this, the government has also asked banks to seek Aadhaar numbers of its customers in a bid to link their account numbers with the number. This, in future, will not only help in transferring money from the government directly into bank accounts using the Aadhaar platform, but will also help the government to track people’s financial transactions.

The finance ministry earlier this month issued instructions to all public sector banks to prepare a database of its customers which is to include the name of the bank, account number and Aadhaar number.

“In case a beneficiary approaches the bank directly for seeding Aadhaar in bank account, this may be done as per prevailing practice,” said a circular issued by the department of financial services.

Biometric ATMs

A money dispensing machine that works with your finger prints or eye scan.

It matches your biometric with the finger prints and iris scan given at the time for enrolling Aadhaar number.

The entire process of authenticating biometric from Aadhaar centre takes less than five seconds.

The government has decided to set up first such biometric money dispensing machines in rural and semi-urban areas.