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NAB customers could soon be withdrawing cash with their face

Photos: NAB/Getty

NAB is trialling a new ATM that would see customers cash out using facial recognition technology.

The artificial intelligence- and cloud-powered ATM would remove the need for physical cards or devices, using only your face and PIN to withdraw money.

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In a video on NAB’s website, the major bank’s chief customer experience officer Rachel Slade said the bank wanted to create experiences that were “personal”, “easy” and “supportive”.

“Things like testing facial recognition at an ATM. It’s a really interesting to see how that works in our universe for our customers,” Slade said.

The major bank teamed up with Microsoft to create the proof-of-concept ATM using cloud-based system from the technology giant’s Azure Cognitive Services.

How it works

NAB senior consultant, AP Hacks James Dunwoody explained in the video that Azure’s library stored facial recognition data.

“We map your face and those dots that lay out your face are the ones that get stored in the cloud. That’s the identifier we use,” he said.

“If you’re looking at the ATM and someone is peeking over your shoulder, and you’re concerned that they might be looking at your PIN, we can detect that second face and we can lock it down and not allow you to enter your PIN.”

Steve Day, from NAB EGM Infrastructure, Cloud and Workspace, espoused the security of facial recognition technology and the lack of need for physical cards.

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“With your face recognition and the PIN, that’s about as secure as you can ever get.”

The proof-of-concept ATM is being showcased at the Sibos conference held in Sydney this week that focuses on how data, AI, and new technology is driving innovation in financial services.

If I’m a NAB customer, should I be worried that NAB’s got records of my face?

Not quite – the ATM is only at the proof-of-concept stage, meaning it’s only being tested to prove it can work. Furthermore, it seems that individuals would have had to voluntarily participate in the trials.

On its website, NAB made it clear that the concept was “designed purely to test the customer experience of using such technology”.

“The ATM system, using Azure Cognitive Services, does not store images, only the biometric data, and the data is held securely on Microsoft’s trusted cloud platform; it will be erased following the experiment,” NAB said.

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“The information will be used only for the purpose of authenticating the customer and for no other purpose.

“Participants in the concept will not have any of their banking information connected to the system.”

The ATM was developed and designed in two months by NAB’s technology division alongside its in-house innovation lab, NAB Labs.