NAB, Microsoft collaborate for facial recognition-based ATM

Bank moving key platforms, including SAP, to Azure

NAB’s customers may one day be able to ditch their cards when withdrawing cash from automatic teller machines, with the bank partnering with Microsoft for a proof of concept ATM that uses facial recognition and a PIN to authorise transactions.

NAB and Microsoft today revealed details of the project, which involves a cloud-based application built with Azure Cognitive Services.

“Cloud technology allows us to take advantage of features and capabilities that are world-leading and enable us to deliver at pace for our customers,” NAB chief technology and operations officer Patrick Wright said.

“Working with companies like Microsoft allows us to develop concepts like this. It’s a look into what the future might hold for the way our customers access banking products and services.”

The proof of concept does not rely on stored images; instead it uses biometric data held in Microsoft’s cloud. The data, which is used only for authentication, will be erased at the end of the experiment.

“We believe AI will profoundly impact financial services and the sorts of solutions that banks will be able to deliver in the future,” said Microsoft Australia’s managing director, Steven Worrall.

“For a consumer facing application such as the AI-powered ATM we’ve developed with NAB, this sort of continuous AI innovation is important. With its cloud-led approach to information systems, NAB is also guaranteed access to every Microsoft cloud-based cognitive service advance as it becomes available.”

The proof of concept, which was developed over eight weeks by a team that drew together members of NAB Labs and the bank’s technology division, was staged to test the customer experience implications of the technology.

Cloud training

Microsoft and NAB today also revealed that the bank had expanded its key cloud training program.

NAB in April announced the launch of NAB Cloud Guild. The bank said that thousands of employees were expected be put through the training program, with an early focus on Amazon Web Services. The program has been extended to cover Microsoft’s cloud services. Since the program launched, more than 3000 of the bank’s employees have participated.

NAB is also moving core platforms, including SAP, to Azure, Microsoft revealed today.

Earlier this year it launched NAB Discovery Cloud — an effort to replace aging data warehouses.

NAB chief technology and operations officer Patrick Wright
NAB chief technology and operations officer Patrick Wright

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