South African banks row over biometric ATM claim
09 May 2018 16:52 GMT

South African retail bank Capitec on Tuesday disputed a claim by rival First National Bank that it had become the first bank in South Africa to introduce a mini-ATM that uses biometrics as a means of validation for consumers.

"Capitec was in fact the first bank in South Africa to introduce biometric verification technology, back in 2012," said Charl Nel, head of communications at Capitec.

"The technology has always been a core part of the bank's business model and currently Capitec is the only bank in South Africa which has biometrics recorded for its complete client base over 10 million people. All client fingerprints have been verified with the department of home affairs."

On Monday, FNB said its devise had been successfully piloted in Gauteng province since November 2017 and functioned as a self-service kiosk from which customers could make withdrawals, transfers and payments, view statements, purchase airtime and electricity and perform card cancellations.

 It also allowed people to open new accounts by reading a consumer’s thumb print, FNB said, adding that bank aimed to place the devices in branches, community retailers in townships and rural areas across South Africa.