By as early as March 2024, Japan’s Seven Bank will allow customers to make deposits and withdrawals using facial recognition at roughly 20,000 ATMs in Seven-Elevens nationally, said the bank’s president Masaaki Matsuhashi, according to Nikkei.
The service will be the first of its kind in Japan, according to Nikkei. Located inside Seven-Elevens throughout Japan, the bank is a unit of the convenience store’s parent company Seven & i Holdings.
To activate facial authentication, customers must link their account information to their biometrics at a Seven Bank ATM. They will receive a unique ID card that will be required at future transactions as an added security measure. Customers will no longer need to use their cash card for account openings, withdrawals and deposits.
They will also be able to retrieve government benefits “without the need for a bank account,” according to a company statement. This feature was already implemented in some areas, with Shibuya City in Tokyo involving the technology in its childbirth grant program.
Roughly 13,000, or half, of all Seven Bank ATMs already have face biometric technology. An additional 6,000 are projected to be replaced this year with a new model that NEC, a Japanese tech company, developed in 2019. NEC began providing a facial recognition cashless payment system for Japan’s Seven-Elevens back in 2020.
Because Seven Bank relies on ATM fees from other banking institutions, it will encourage other banks to adopt similar technology so they can allow their customers to use facial recognition at Seven Bank ATMs.
“We will work to further expand the value provided by ATMs as a new social infrastructure that is close and convenient, and reliable and safe,” says the company in the statement.