FNB first with fingerprint checks

2011-11-08 14:20

Johannesburg - FNB on Tuesday announced that it has successfully tested and rolled out a biometric identification and verification system which allows for online verification of customers through their fingerprints in its branches.

FNB is the first bank in South Africa to have the system fully implemented in more than 100 branches nationwide.

The system uses real time fingerprint verification linked to the Home Affairs National Identification System (Hanis) and is currently live in 160 branches. More than 130 of these are FNB EasyPlan branches, the bank's low-cost banking model.

"We continue to use innovative measures to make banking safe and convenient for our customers - in this instance, by reducing identity fraud," says Line Wiid, CEO of FNB Smart Solutions.

"With the rise in identity theft it is crucial that we adopt measures that not only protect us as a bank but also protect our customers. Biometrics verification is one way to build trust with our customers."


FNB has been piloting biometric verification in its EasyPlan branch environment since July 2011. "The beauty of the system is that we are not just validating fingerprints against our own database but against the national database held by the department of home affairs. This helps us to ensure data integrity," said Wiid.

FNB is using the biometric verification system for customers who wish to take out finance or open a new account with the bank.

"It is important to note that the system is not used as a credit scoring tool for our customers, but to verify that the person applying for a loan is in fact who they claim to be," she said.

"Combating identity fraud is everyone's responsibility. Businesses and corporate need to play a role and support government's initiatives in fighting crime."

FNB has already installed the biometric verification system in all its 137 EasyPlan branches. In future, all upcoming EasyPlan branches will automatically have the biometric capability. 

  • Robbie - 2011-11-08 14:39

    That infringes on my right to privacy... Home Affairs has no right to let third parties source my information like this! - 2011-11-08 14:50

      Then dont use FNB!

      Notbuyinface - 2011-11-08 15:34

      Protection of information bill is meant to stop exactly that, but because of propaganda we were less informed.

      Lambano - 2011-11-08 18:39

      Hi Robbie home affairs is not giving anyone anything. FNB Submits information you went with when going to the bank to Home Affairs and Home Affairs Confirms that the finger prints submitted and ID which the person has is Authentic and Home Affairs will report ifts correct or incorrect based on that in the long run protecting you from identity theft in instance we you lost your ID

      myjiyane - 2011-11-09 12:05

      Robbie, "ahh my privacy rights have been infringed !" and the next thing you will be crying and blaming the banks. As said, Home Affairs does not submit fingerprint info to FNB, but they simply confirm what YOU HAVE SUBMITTED to FNB with what they have on their side, Home Affairs.

  • skpienaar - 2011-11-08 14:41

    The first with fingerprint checks? I think Capitec Bank has been doing this for years now. The verification is not linked to the Home Affairs National Identification System though.

      neilza - 2011-11-08 14:50

      yeah when i opened my capitec account like 2 years ago i think i did the fingerprint thing and when i go into the branch to do something i just stick my finger on th reader and dont have to give my id to them

  • 100001872330980 - 2011-11-08 14:45

    In this country, how much will it be to insure my finger.

      tj.meerken - 2011-11-08 15:52


  • Scooter_Verd - 2011-11-08 15:00

    I take it that this was the reason why they 'retrenched' so many of their Homeloan staff, and closed down most of their Premier Banking sections.

  • Gennath - 2011-11-08 15:02

    Go FNB!

  • Duanne - 2011-11-08 15:04

    According to this article posted moments ago ABSA is first . .

      ALFAholic - 2011-11-08 15:52

      ABSA ran first (Hanis thing) with this since April in my branch, sorry FNB

  • mark.davy2 - 2011-11-08 15:05

    Now criminals will be cutting off people’s fingers next...!

  • pisang - 2011-11-08 15:09

    Thats a lie!! Capitec Bank were the first to impliment fingerprint technology for use when interacting with their clients

  • 100001636080353 - 2011-11-08 15:21

    crap Capitec introduced that long ago

  • claassen.gert - 2011-11-08 15:39

    I worked for Capitec and i can say with confidence that they were the first to use fingerprint verification in South Africa, it started out in certain branches at first and might not have verified the info on Hanis but they were way ahead of the crowd, this was done in combination with the paperless banking idea. Nice that FNB caught up though.

      claassen.gert - 2011-11-08 18:54

      I believe that is what i indicated with my comment. The headline is not clear enough. It does not state that FNB is the first to do verification against Hanis. It simply states, "FNB first with fingerprint checks". This statement is not really 100% true if they simply imply fingerprint verification but is true when they indicate that it is the first to verify fingerprints against Hanis. Hope we can agree on that at least.

  • Mike - 2011-11-08 15:45

    Is FNB trying to gain brownie points because Capitec were first and for the past 2 years I've been banking at Nedbank and since then they have had it. Sorry for you FNB but like everything else you do in SA you are far behind!

      lynda - 2011-11-08 16:05

      Whats Capitec

      Tyrone - 2011-11-08 17:22

      @Mike Does Nedbank have a smartphone app?

  • 100002546302915 - 2011-11-08 16:07

    i think English is a very difficult language, because even english speaking people can not read it."FNB is the first bank in South Africa to have the system fully implemented in more than 100 branches nationwide" the operating word here is FULLY.

  • kitty.viljoen - 2011-11-08 16:10

    Oh no they are not the first..i am a Capitec client and they have been using finger print checks for over a year now .

  • 100002546302915 - 2011-11-08 16:35

    While few of us will complain that if using this technology reduces the possibility of fraud as regards our money, then why not use it. But consider the bigger issue. When our fingerprints were given to Home Affairs we were promised confidentiality. Then along comes a business willing to pay money and wow, Home Affairs has sold our confidential details to commercial interests. Does this mean that anybody willing to pay (the no doubt hefty price) can then get access to our finger prints? Scary thought - particularly when we consider the integrity of our government when easy money is available!!

      EarlTido - 2011-11-09 09:50

      You details remain confidential and will not be sent to the bank. All is happening is that the bank scan your finger print and is passed to home affairs system for comparison. if they match, then you are authenticated - and if they don't, then that raises questions. Home Affairs does not pass personal data back to the banks - they just pass Yay or Nay to finger print match.

  • Crispybacon - 2011-11-08 17:50

    This article is a classic example of how people only read the headline, and actually don't pay much attention to what is mentioned in the body of the article. Every one is commenting: "Oooooh, no, Capitec was the first!" Whipdidoo.... Please people read the article. I-net Bridge published the story, Fin24 just chose a misleading headline...

  • Hugh - 2011-11-08 18:31

    Where is the privacy or has this something to do with SARS. Far easier to confirm deposits by whom to who using the finger print. As an FNB customer I did not give permission for this intrusion. I have closed my account. Now please people make a stand and close yours as well.

      braams - 2011-11-08 19:06

      I really don't mind, I have nothing to hide from SARS. I actually feel much safer with FNB using biometrics. That's the way the world is going... Anonymity from the government and its agencies are something of the past Hugh, not only in SA but most countres in the world. Que sera sera

  • Lambano - 2011-11-08 18:32


  • Charl - 2011-11-08 20:19

    So they all now implement the Capitec system who pioneered it more than 10 years ago. About time the traditional banks get with the programme.

  • Gerald - 2011-11-09 16:27

    And those cold days where touchscreens and trackpads dont feel you?

  • anonymous - 2011-11-18 11:31

    ahhhhh.... shame welcome FNB.... Capitecbank been there for ten years already..... The only difference is that CapitecBank refuses to link to home affairs... and we all know what a shambels information at home affairs is... Imagine telling a client sorry sir we cannot help you because something is wrong at Home Affairs... HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

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