South Korean bank launches palm recognition verification

A South Korean bank has launched a service allowing customers to use palm recognition to withdraw cash – a likely precursor to similar technology becoming available in retail stores.

KB Kookmin Bank says by using palm prints, customers no longer have to use a bankbook, stamp or password.

The bank explained that palm vein recognition is safer and more precise than other biometric identification methods such as fingerprint or iris recognition. It believes the service will appeal to older customers who often have difficulty recalling passwords.

According to a report by Korea Bizwire, using palm recognition is also quicker than current means. Palm vein patterns differ by individual, allowing the scanner to correctly identify the customer.

Similar palm-vein scanners are already being used at automated teller machines (ATM) from major banks worldwide, including Barclays in the UK and Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank in Japan.

To prevent biometric information from leaking, the bank will encrypt the vein pattern database and work with the Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute to store the information. The data will be disassembled into multiple blocks when stored, and reassembled when used for transactions.


KB Kookmin Bank expects that the new palm-recognition service will particularly benefit senior customers who often have a hard time remembering passwords.

  • Based on an article written by Kevin Lee of Korea Bizwire.

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