Chinese ATM Treats Your Face as a Password


Tzekwan Technology teams up with Tsinghua University to produce a facial recognition ATM.

As biometrics are beginning to overthrow traditional PIN and character-based passwords, the financial industry has been making herculean efforts to keep up-to-date with these fresh technologies so as to safeguard consumers from theft and fraudulent activities. Among these monetarily centered companies is Tzekwan Technology, a financial security protection corporation, who recently teamed up with Tsinghua University, an engineering based institution in Beijing, to produce the world’s first facial recognition ATM.

After passing government inspection, the company is soon to be introducing their product to the market.

“This technology will ensure the greater security of card owners” pledges Gu Zikun , the anti-graft expert chairman of Tzekwan Tech.

The machine works first by employing a camera to snap a photo of the user, then matches the image to an ID within a database by detecting consistencies in attributes such as disposition, symmetry, pigmentation and so forth. Though the efforts to realize a fool-proof method in defending against impostors appear successful, the broadcast for the new ATM has been met with some opposition.

“It’s not very practical… What if we’re busy and need someone to get money for us with our card?” writes Caoqibi, a user of Weibo, China’s prevalent social media website.

“Time can change faces, especially of those who love plastic surgery” added younggirlyangge.

Looking past the downbeat views, Tzekwan’s new product has been strategically launched so as to counter some of China’s biggest issues. An exemplary item to be showcased merely a week after the Chinese government kicked off its “Made in China” campaign, a rebranding of the country’s manufactured commodities towards higher caliber goods and tech, the machine comes equipped with fake note detection.

According to Mr. Zikun, the machine is up to 25 percent more accurate than its global competitors in sensing the counterfeit bills of multiple nations. The machine will also connect to banks and police to supplement its defensive measures.

If facial identification, fake bill detection and police signaling functions aren’t enough, the ATM can also exchange Chinese Yuan for up to 256 different foreign currencies. While it is unclear where in China the machine is set to launch, it is surely a step in the right direction for protecting anyone who owns a credit card.

Text via psfk

Image via Leszek Leszczynski (Flickr)