Crowds Disappear from Macau ATMs as Biometric Authentication Implemented: Report

The implementation of biometric scanning at Macau ATMs seems to be having a strong effect, with the South China Morning Post reporting that previously busy terminals are now virtually deserted.Crowds Disappear from Macau ATMs as Biometric Authentication Implemented: Report

First announced in late spring, the measure is aimed at countering fraud and preventing capital flight from mainland China, with authorities seeing the gambling destination of Macau as a locus of money laundering activity. Over eight hundred of Macau’s 1,300 ATMs have now been outfitted with facial recognition technology, requiring holders of China UnionPay debit cards to undergo a scan when they want to withdraw cash.

As one casino worker told the Post, “I used to see lots of people lining up at the ATMs before but they have vanished since the new machines were installed,” adding that such customers have probably gone in search of ATMs that don’t yet have the biometric technology. While such observations are only anecdotal at this point, the Post also notes that casino revenues also took a steep dive after authorities began to implement the biometric technology.

The Macau Monetary Authority, which has implemented the measure, says that similar requirements will eventually be applied to Mastercard, Visa, and other payments companies.

Sources: South China Morning Post, The Verge

July 6, 2017 – by Alex Perala