An ATM For the Semi-Literate and Illiterate Is Being Tested

Illustration for article titled An ATM For the Semi-Literate and Illiterate Is Being Tested

Heading to the ATM to pick up some quick cash is just another part of life here in the West. But how do you introduce that part of the banking experience into developing nations? Why, with biometrics, of course.

Disclaimer: This is not a concept. Seriously. Cash register manufacturer NRC Corp. fully intends on testing their new ATM, first in the states, then in target markets like rural China and India within a year. Resembling Indian post office boxes, their five prototypes will feature "a fingerprint biometric sensors, pre-set cash buttons, a cash dispenser and receipt printer." The cash box even collapses in on itself if the ATM is tampered with. You might ask what use a receipt is to a person who can't read it. NCR's research showed that customers don't consider a transaction complete without a receipt. Go figure.

You might also ask what use an ATM is for the illiterate at all. That's trickier, as lack of interest is but one of many obstacles NCR will have to face if their prototypes are successful here. People would need to be set up accounts and then be fingerprinted for this to even work. But they remained committed to providing fast and safe monetary transactions to the people. And if NCR succeeds, it could change how money flows in these areas in a big way. [Scientific American]

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Platypus Man

Come on guys, I learned how to read when I was like 4 or 5. It's not that hard.

Seriously, I don't even know how we still have illiterate people in this day and age. I mean, this does explicitly say India and China, places with plenty of impovershed people that I've never been, but still.

I feel like if illiteracy is still such a problem, we don't need to be investing in ways to help them live with it. We need to be investing in programs to teach them.