Russian ATMs know if you tell a lie

Thursday, June 9th, 2011 By

A lineup of ATM's in Chang Mai airport in Northern Thailand.

Advanced ATM technology will make automated banking safer than ever. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Tim Moffatt/Flickr)

If your ATM card and PIN number are intercepted in the U.S. without your knowledge, your money is immediately at risk. In Russia, however, banking giant Sberbank is testing out new ATM machine technology that will make the playing field safer. Sberbank is rolling out ATMs that use 3D face recognition and lie-detective voice analysis, reports the New York Times.

Top technology to battle consumer credit fraud

As a part of the banking automation process Sberbank views as the future for the industry, holographic bank tellers greet customers at bank branches. Most banking transactions are handled with no human interaction required on the bank’s part, just highly advanced technology. The Russian ATMs use the same technology for 3D face recognition and voice analysis in a process called biometrics – uniquely recognizing humans based upon multiple intrinsic physical and behavioral traits.

The ATMs scan passports, record fingerprints and take 3D face scans for recognition purposes. Voice analysis enables machines to determine whether customers are truthfully answering questions like “Are you employed?” or “Do you have any other outstanding loans?”

The first lie-detecting ATM machine

Provided that the test ATMs go into standard commercial use, Sberbank, which is owned primarily by the Russian government, will become the first bank in the world to use a voice analysis system. While Sberbank executives point out that the system will adhere to Russian privacy laws, the view that it could invade a consumer’s privacy will no doubt prevent such a system from appearing in the U.S.

What voice analysis can tell

According to experts on the voice analysis system, the software is able to search for several markers in the human voice simultaneously. Nervousness or emotional distress that frequently accompanies lying can be detected in vocal inflection. A wide range of other vocal qualities and pace of speech that indicate involuntary nervous responses are monitored, too.

In order to comply with Russian privacy law, Sberbank reportedly does not maintain a database of customer voice signatures. The bank does plan to store individual voice prints on chips contained in customer credit cards, however.

Sberbank uses biometric technology for security


Biometrics Wiki


New York Times

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