Seven Bank to Introduce Facial Recognition to its ATMs

Source: Gaijin Pot

Soon that little camera above the screen on your local 7-Eleven’s ATM won’t just be for peace of mind. According to an article published earlier this week by The Yomiuri Shimbun, starting in fall 2019 the convenience store giant’s banking arm Seven Bank will install new machines that can recognize your face. The new technology will enable customers to open a 7-Eleven bank account on the spot.

Currently, opening an account requires applicants to fill out a form online but mail a hard copy of their identification to the bank headquarters. With this new system, a high-resolution camera will compare the face of the person with their scanned photo ID at ATMs to achieve the same level of security without the hassle. Seven Bank has not yet confirmed if the initial part of the application process would still have to be done online.

Facial recognition is nothing new to 7-Eleven — they caused something of a stir last year when they announced plans to use the technology in Thailand. There, the purpose was to “identify loyal customers, analyze customer traffic and monitor stock levels of products.”

Here in Japan, at least, the usage is set to be more limited and have less of the dystopian Big Brother is Watching You/Black Mirror is real now-feel.

Reactions so far are mixed

Reactions online, as one might expect, vary.

Some called the prospect “ground-breaking,” although since the technology will only affect the ability to open accounts rather than use them, this sense of awe might be limited in practice. As one user observed dryly (or is that bitterly?), “I already have an account.”

Others worried that the system could leave one open to identity theft. Twitter user @k t k c m was also concerned that this could lead to facial recognition technology spreading to other areas …continue reading