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90% of Macau ATMs now fitted with facial recognition technology

Wednesday, 03 January 2018 02:48
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Around 90% of Macau’s ATMs are now fitted with Know Your Customer measures, which includes facial recognition technology, according to The Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM).

Announcing the latest figures on Tuesday, the AMCM said that 1,040 ATMs in Macau were now KYC compliant, requiring holders of mainland China issued China Union Pay, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club and Discover cards to use the KYC ATMs to verify their identities before being able to withdraw cash.  

“The AMCM has implemented the KYC ATM measures since May 2017 and banks have been putting their ATMs with KYC [technology] into service in stages so as to enhance the verification of cardholders' identity as well as to ensure the normal operation of ATM cash,” it said.

“The relevant withdrawal services have been running smooth and irregular withdrawal activities have been stopped since the implementation of the above measures, promoting the security of the financial system of Macau.”

The AMCM said that installation of KYC ATMs had been disrupted by Typhoon Hato, which struck Macau in August, but that banks had “stepped up” to complete installation. It added that it had been working closely with banks to fix any problems with installation.

“Since the launch of the KYC ATM measures, the success rate of relevant cash withdrawals has reached 95%,” the AMCM said. “While the legal interests of tourists who are conducting cash withdrawals through ATMs in Macau are protected, the normal cash withdrawals are not affected.”

The government announced its intention to strengthen its monitoring of Macau’s nearly 1,300 ATMs in May following reports that more than HK$10 billion was being withdrawn each month. The new ATMs, which also limit withdrawals to a maximum of HK$5,000 per transaction, require customers to scan their bankcards and undergo a facial recognition check before use.

Cash withdrawals from ATMs without the KYC technology were suspended for China Union Pay card holders in July, with the AMCM stating they would only be able to withdraw money from ATMs displaying the KYC ATM logo. Macau residents and those using cards from other jurisdictions remain unaffected by the change.

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