EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based identity authentication solutions, and Diebold, a leading global provider of self-service technology, software and services across industries, recently announced in an official press release their collaboration on a new screen-less, self-service ATM concept that “harnesses emerging technology to create a vision of what the future banking experience might look like”. This “ATM of the future” will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) taking place in Las Vegas on January 6-9, 2016.
The refreshed design of a traditional ATM machine dubbed “Irving” looks quite different from what people are used to. Irving is an ATM without a PIN pad, card reader, or screen. Instead, all transactions take place via a mobile app on the user's smartphone.
In addition to NFC and QR code technology, Irving is enabled with iris scanning from EyeLock to identify the customer once at the ATM.
Anthony Antolino, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for EyeLock LLC commented on the future of cards, saying, "EyeLock believes that the age of carrying plastic cards and remembering passwords is just about over and the era of unfettered personal access through biometric technology is just beginning. For banking and other applications, EyeLock's iris identity authentication solutions are not only highly secure, but very easy to use."
Irving offers quite a simple process as explained by Frank Natoli, Executive VP of Self-Service Technology at Diebold. A customer signs into her banking app and chooses the amount to be cashed out. Once the withdrawal information is entered, the customer can go to any EyeLock-equipped ATM on the network to complete the transaction. She would simply approach the machine, which scans the iris of her eye to verify identity, and the ATM dispenses the correct amount of cash. The whole process takes less than half the time of a typical ATM transaction today, as stated by Diebold.
Let’s take a closer look at Irving. The concept was introduced in October 2015 by Diebold. Interestingly, the name “Irving” was given after Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (where the headless horseman character was introduced).
As Diebold shared in October 2015, with an estimated $5 trillion in currency circulating the globe, Irving was designed to provide faster, more convenient consumer access to cash. Driven by a design philosophy that places the user experience at the core, Irving features:
"While digital channels are evolving, cash will continue to play an important role in consumer transactions," Natoli commented in the press release. "That's where Diebold comes into play – to bridge the digital and physical worlds of cash in unprecedented ways through cardless transactions, mobile integration and faster, more convenient access. The Irving concept embodies a new era of banking and puts the user experience at the top of the pyramid to connect consumers with their money when and how they see fit."
Irving is being tested by Citibank at its innovation lab in New York. As CitiFinTech CEO Heather Cox commented, "At Citi, we are always looking for innovations that simplify and enhance the banking experience.”
Along with Irving, Diebold also introduced another ATM concept called “Janus”. Janus is a dual-sided self-service terminal that is capable of serving two consumers at the same time and offers more advanced functionality in a standard footprint. As the company shared on the official website, Janus offers the following features:
Irving relies on eye-scanning technology for authentication which falls into the broader and widely discussed topic of using biometrics in banking. The LTP team has been conducting thorough research in the space to spot the top companies in biometrics used for payments authentication. Among the chosen companies are two interesting ones working with eye-scanning technology - EyeVerify and IrisGuard Ltd.
EyeVerify Inc. is the creator of Eyeprint ID, eye recognition biometrics software which will work on any smartphone with a 1+ MP camera, enabling customers to open a mobile device, log into apps and make secure mobile payments. Eyeprint ID transforms an ordinary selfie into a key that protects one's digital life. The patented, software-only biometric solution is 99.99% accurate and has a read time of less than one second.
IrisGuard Ltd. provides IrisGuard technology, an iris recognition biometric solution. Incorporated into cameras, software and backend servers, IrisGuard’s technology has been used in real-world operations since 2001 to quickly and accurately identify tens of millions of customers in over 190 countries. IrisGuard provides IrisGuard technology in a suite of services for financial institutions called EyeBank. Implemented at Cairo Amman Bank in 2009 to authenticate customers for ATM transactions, teller withdrawals and payment guarantees, IrisGuard has secured millions of transactions for more than 100,000 customers.
Big banks including J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, recently started internally testing their own cardless ATM technologies.
WSJ shared that J.P. Morgan showed off a cardless ATM during its investor day earlier in 2015, but hasn’t yet offered consumers a demonstration. A bank spokeswoman said that the bank is also evaluating the use of voice- and facial-recognition technology. A Bank of America spokeswoman said the bank has tested cardless ATMs internally and will begin a customer pilot with them during the first half of next year.
Similar features have already been rolled out at the ATMs of smaller banks like BMO Harris Bank, a Chicago-based unit of Canada’s Bank of Montreal, and Rosemont, Ill.-based Wintrust Financial Corp., according to WSJ. Doug Peacock, BMO Harris lead executive for mobile banking shared with WSJ that the bank has around 900 ATMs allowing cardless cash withdrawals. Mr. Peacock also added that the number of customers using the cardless option was increasing at a double-digit growth rate on an annualized basis each month and that growth has so far exceeded its goals.
Financial services industry players have been looking at biometrics and cardless technologies with keen interest to revolutionize banking and provide the best possible customer experience. However, it is hard to say if 2016 will be the year of a major shift. Financial services industry giants are mostly in early testing stages and the results may lead to a clearer trend in several years.