Westpac lets your smartphone's camera activate new bank cards

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Westpac lets your smartphone's camera activate new bank cards

OCR technology scans debit, credit cards.

Westpac customers will be able to use their smartphone's camera to activate new debit and credit cards from this month.

The bank today said it had built optical character recognition technology into its Westpac Live mobile banking application to allow customers to scan their new card, confirm the details, and activate.

OCR technology converts images of typed, handwritten or printed text captured by a camera into searchable data.

The technology has been used by banks for decades as a way to decrease manual labor and increase efficiency, in areas from processing cheque numbers to reading handwriting on forms.

The function will allow Westpac customers to bypass lengthy phone or physical queues to activate their new cards.

The service will be available for Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards and MasterCard debit cards from this month. The technology will work across both iOS and Android on the Westpac mobile banking app.

The bank said it had activated two million debit and credit cards in the past year.

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