State-owned Russian bank Sberbank spearheads the adoption of touchless ATMs in the country, leveraging blockchain technology for better security and efficiency, and helping the region curtail the deadly coronavirus spread.
The coronavirus pandemic has paved the long-pending way to a touchless future. From touchless travel, touchless payments to touchless toilets, and now touchless ATMs, the contact-free user interfaces are gradually gaining traction and setting the stage for a thriving sensory industry.
Sensing the demand for the sensor technology market, Sberbank has decided to let go of the need to carry the debit or credit card to use ATMs physically. By now, many countries have started easing lockdown restrictions owing to a declining number of coronavirus infections. Russia, however, is still struggling to flatten the curve as case numbers continue to rise.
Touchless ATMs for a touchless future
Thus, in its attempts to strengthen the fight against the COVID-19, Sberbank paid a whopping $108.5 million and purchased 5000 touchless ATMs, backed by blockchain technology. What’s appealing is that these ATMs are compatible with major mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Huawei Pay, and Russian Central Bank-designed, Mir Pay.
All users have to do is operate the touchless ATMs using their mobile phones instead of going through the touchscreen interface that poses serious health risks today. Each of these new-age devices will be able to hold 14,500 banknotes.
Equipped with a pattern recognition software and blockchain-based applications, the ATMs will boast top-notch security and performance.
No dependency on cards and crypto, Sberbank
With this initiative, Sberbank not only hopes to limit the dependency on physical plastic cards but also attract a more extensive user base and significantly reduce operational costs.
The announcement also states that going further, the bank will integrate additional features into the touchless ATMs by enabling users to apply for loans, check stock market updates and even place shopping orders, all using their smartphones.
Meanwhile, the blockchain-centric bank has specifically outlined that move has nothing to do with embracing crypto. In fact, the Russian banking giant unveiled a Ripple-like non-crypto version of a cross-border money transfer app last year, calling it a move to dismiss the need to rely on it cryptocurrencies.
Featured Image by Flickr