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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

UK banking industry set for contactless card roll out

UK banks will begin rolling out plastic credit and debit cards featuring contactless payment technology from either Visa or MasterCard to cardholders in September.


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The future of ATMs

A while back I blogged about the potential of biometric ATMs. I was taken by the news that they are being used to pay illiterate workers in India but my hopes for this technology to make the world a better place seem a tad optimistic.

Diebold CEO Tom Swidarski is dismissive about the potential for biometric cash machines because he feels that all the banks need to be on board for it to take off – there’s not much point in one bank introducing biometrics if its customers still have to withdraw money the old fashioned way at cash machines owned by other firms.

He believes that biometrics may be more useful inside the branch, especially for safety deposit boxes.

Diebold also laughed off the notion that we are moving to a cashless society (no surprise there), claiming that the amount of cash in circulation in Japan - a contactless payments leader - is actually rising sharply (can anyone confirm this?).

In the short term the growth of contactless will gather pace but not at the expense of cash. New banking channels are about choice, not replacement - Internet banking does not stop people wanting to visit their local branch.

It’s the ATM’s 40th birthday this year, I’ve no doubt it will be around for it’s 50th but will it live to see 100?

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Comments: (2)

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 24 May, 2007, 14:54Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

According to Nomura Research Institute Ltd. statistics, the e-money market in Japan expanded from 180 billion yen in 2006 to 690 billion yen in 2007, including Edy's 100 billion yen share and Suica's 50 billion yen share. The market is expected to be worth 2.8 trillion yen in 2011.

With the popularisation of e-money, concerns have been raised that the money supply - one of the elements that the Bank of Japan uses to map out its monetary policy - may not reflect the actual state of the economy, as the money supply data does not include e-money.

According to statistics, the money supply in March was 80.38 trillion yen. Of this, only 4.49 trillion yen is currency from small-scale settlements, which is likely to be substituted by e-money.

Your man from Diebold may just be looking at the wrong stats. See this article from Yomiuri Shimbun for more background on the advance of e-money in Japan.

Hoss Atri
Hoss Atri - Elifinty LLC - London Ec1 25 May, 2007, 10:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes A few years ago one of UK's most innovative institutions actually ran quite a comprehensive and well thought out pilot using iris scanning to authenticate ATM cardholders in Swindon but in the end its customers did not like the idea and the project was shelved.  I am sure ATM's will continue well into the next few decades but will evolve to meet our changing needs.