Finca Uganda has introduced biometric technology for financial transactions, a move that is expected to minimise fraud and heighten competition to increase market share.

Biometric technology will enable the credit institutions’ customers to use finger print scanning to carry out transactions instead of using pin numbers or hand written signatures to identify their identities.

With the new branchless banking technology, bank customers will use Access Cards to deposit and withdraw money, carry out money transfers, check account balance and get bank statements at the nearest Point-of-Sale Service Terminal.

Speaking at a client feedback meeting in Kampala, Mr Julius Omoding, the Finca Uganda chief executive officer said, the bank is committed to invest in technology to secure bank transactions.

“Biometrics is the most reliable technology because finger, palm or face features of every individual are unique,” he noted
Bank and ATM fraud is mostly committed by people who are linked to bank officers who are able to provide pin numbers and other relevant information required to commit such crimes.

But with biometrics, such fraudulent incidents are minimised, as an added layer of authentication is introduced which ensures that even in possession of another person’s card, a fraudster will not be able to withdraw any money.

The technology to be piloted in Amolata, Busia, Nakasongola and Sembabule, Mr Omoding said, would reduce operation costs as it decreases the cost of labour due to minimal over-the-counter services.

Finca is the first bank in Uganda to introduce such technology but other financial institutions especially those that have been greatly affected by ATM fraud, are also expected to follow suite.

The banking industry lost up to Shs3.2 billion in fraud in 2007.

However, a source close to Diamond Trust Bank said that the institution has not yet discussed at any level.