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Smile! Your Face Is Being Read!

A self-service check-cashing machine is now available in the United States that employs facial biometrics as identification. It is a straight check-cashing machine that's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The machine is dubbed "Mr. Payroll" and is the product of Cash America International Inc. in Ft. Worth, Texas. It stands 4 feet by 3 feet by 8 feet, with a big picture of a man wearing a cowboy hat and holding a fistful of dollars. It looks comfortable and folksy. But it's actually high-tech. The first time it's used by an individual, it takes a photo of the user's face and stores it for comparison with the next person using the same name and social security number.

The check cashing machines cost less than $55,000 each and most are located in convenience stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Some have also been installed on military bases to cash checks even for people with no bank accounts.

Cash America is now negotiating with banks to place the machines in bank branches, taking some of the traffic off the teller lines. Unless the bank chooses to absorb the cost, Mr. Payroll charges 1% to 3% of the check's value to cash the check. It keeps 40% as its fee, with 60% going to the machine owner.Facial biometrics are used to control access to high security sites in this country-including the Pentagon. Along with iris scanning, this technology is a high tech answer to positive identification.For further information call (800)322-3250.

Copyright © 1998 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 8, No. 6 5/98

First published on 05/01/1998

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