A protoype biometric Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) created for the developing world could boost security and provide microfinance to remote communities
The 'pillar' ATM uses a fingerprint recognition terminal to authenticate customers and features an imploding cash box that activates when the unit is tampered with, Scientific American reports.
The cylindrical shape of the ATM is designed to minimise areas where a crowbar could pry open the machine and it can be bolted to the ground to secure it in place.
It features a series of coloured buttons which can be pressed to dispense cash without the need to read text, and could also be outfitted with near field communication to allow contactless bank transfers with mobile phones, which are popular in some developing world countries.
It could also help improve the security of the microfinance model. Developer NCR identified in a 2009 report that couriers, a popular means to deliver micro finance services to the developing world, were at risk of robbery and could themselves abscond with client funds.
"The ‘doorstep banking’ model has obvious restrictions of scale as well as security," it said.
Technology was identified as a means to reduce security personnel required to protect the couriers, the report said.
It will be tested in the US by financial services organisations and later deployed to rural areas in developing countries.