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Macao fights fraud with facial recognition at ATMs

Categories : Cash is efficient, Innovation contributes to the efficiency of cash
May 19, 2017
Tags : Asia, China, Criminality, Innovation
Macao has decided to crack down on criminality by installing facial recognition technology in ATMs.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

Macao is an autonomous region of China known for its casinos and luxury hotels and is the only Chinese territory where gambling is authorised. Indeed, Macao registers the world’s largest gambling revenue since 2006, far ahead of Las Vegas. As a consequence, the resort city is also favoured by tax evaders and criminals for money-laundering activities.

According to a 2014 investigation conducted by Reuters, numerous Chinese use tricks to circumvent the daily 20,000 yuan withdrawal limit and spend more cash in Macau’s region than authorised. Fraudsters notably open several UnionPay accounts at a time and withdraw money from each of these. The money is either used to gamble, make fake purchases in pawn shops or sent abroad.

Macao decided to crack down on these practices by implementing facial recognition in UnionPay ATMs. The deployment schedule yet to be announced, but the government already stated that the first effort will focus on ATMs installed inside casinos. 

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