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FNB launches biometric system in 160 branches

FNB has successfully tested and rolled out a biometric identification and verification system, allowing for online verification of customers in 160 branches nationwide. More than 130 of these are EasyPlan branches, the bank's low-cost banking model.

The system uses real time fingerprint verification linked to the Home Affairs National Identification System (Hanis).

"We continue to use innovative measures to make banking safe and convenient for our customers, in this instance by reducing identity fraud," says Line Wiid, CEO of FNB Smart Solutions.

"With the rise in identity theft, it is crucial that we adopt measures that not only protect the bank but also protect our customers. Biometrics verification is one way to build trust with our customers."

The bank has been piloting biometric verification in its EasyPlan branch environment since July 2011. "The beauty of the system is that we are not just validating fingerprints against our own database but against the national database held by the Department of Home Affairs. This helps us to ensure data integrity," she adds.

FNB is using the biometric verification system for customers who wish to take out finance or open a new account with the bank.

"It is important to note that the system is not used as a credit scoring tool for our customers but to verify that the person applying for a loan is in fact who they claim to be. Combating identity fraud is everyone's responsibility. Businesses and corporates need to play a role and support government's initiatives in fighting crime," she concludes.

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