What China’s New Facial Recognition ATM Says About the Future


By Nicholas West

In what has become a common refrain in all security circles, the elimination of privacy is a necessary tool needed to provide a solution.

China is invoking the threat of financial fraud to usher in a new system of facial recognition ATMs that not only will link to an “identity database” but also will scan cash for counterfeit currency.

The facial recognition ATM won’t let people withdraw cash unless their face is matched with their IDs. The ATM machine has a camera installed on it which does the task by comparing people’s face with their photo which is stored in its database.


According to reports the machine allows currency exchanges. It also records the serial number of every note deposited by clients to identify fake bank notes. (emphasis added)

Perhaps it would seem appropriate that China would take first place in implementing a centralized ID database with a link to financial transactions, but the development of biometric IDs for transacting business and monitoring movements is a global initiative a long time in the making.

Julie Beal has been reporting for years about the move toward a full-spectrum Smart World that will be organized through a range of biometric identifiers. As she has highlighted, it’s big business:

A recent report,  Next Generation Biometric Technologies Market Global Forecast & Analysis (2012-2017), predicts the global market for biometrics to reach $13.89 billion by 2017, reasoning that,

The existing methods of human identification such as identification documents and PIN are not able to cope up with the growing demand for stringent security, which gives a high growth opportunity for the use of biometric technology. This technology is very popular also because biometric characters like face, fingerprint, hand, etc. cannot be lost, stolen, or easily forged.

From iris recognition to fingerprint authentication, biometrics is becoming the choice method for secure identity checks.

And it has indeed. Poland became the first European country to introduce finger vein scanning ATMs in 2010. Most disturbing in that development was the link that those banks created to state benefits. But even their system was derivative.  Since 2006 Japan has linked up tens of millions to their biometric system of banking that was introduced after the country imposed liability on the banks for false withdrawals and identity theft. Since then, various forms of banking biometrics have been introduced around the world.

Brandon Turbeville has also written extensively about the various methods being employed as a stated goal of corporations, as well as various globalist foundations. I would point you to the following articles for a comprehensive overview of how we are likely to see disparate systems join together and become a global requirement:

Indeed, it’s certainly not only happening at the ATM, but is targeted for general purchases as well. As I highlighted late last year, a new system called Zwipe was developed for imminent rollout in a partnership with Mastercard. It promises the first fully biometric credit card, which will dispense with a PIN and instead use a fingerprint sensor for verification.

Meanwhile, the US has so far rejected nationwide systems as such, but the move toward biometrics is happening in more subtle ways, and all signs point to a widening array of compliance mechanisms that are now being rolled out.

The FBI has established a facial recognition database called The Next Generation Identification system. Supposedly designed as an investigative tool to quickly access mug shots and arrest records, it already has come under attack for being a dragnet full of innocent people. It is also just the type of database that could easily merge with the banking system at some point in the future if not properly corralled.

While such federal measures have indeed sparked outrage, even at the most mundane local level, systems are expanding. Many schools have imposed biometrics for access to food, clearly demonstrating the limits of what is expected to be tolerated. Introduction to amusement parks also trains the next generation to accept privacy invasion and full-time tracking as a normal consequence of living in a “secure” environment.

And, naturally, the virtual space will be the next, perhaps final step toward completing this tracking grid. We have seen Apple introduce Touch ID for the iPhone 5 and tie it into store purchases, while Microsoft’s coming Windows 10 will be adding facial recognition, iris scans and a fingerprint reader, potentially linking to mobile banking apps, as well as provide general online access and tracking.

Ironically (or coincidentally) it seems that an ever expanding list of government intrusions and hacks in the real and virtual world only serves to enhance the reasoning behind the need for a biometric takeover. It is a lesson we should have already learned about the nature of a burgeoning worldwide business of making us safer.


Also see: 
In The Internet of Things, YOU Will Be The Key

Nicholas West writes for Activist Post and Tech Swarm.

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