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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., Newsbytes : Users of ATMs in key metro areas will now be able tostart cashing paychecks and checks from reliable sources, such as government departments, thanks to InnoVentry's new range of machines. The firm, a joint venture between Wells Fargo and Cash America International, has developed a new generation of ATMs that include FaceIt biometric technology from Visionics.

Frances Zelazny, a spokesperson for the biometrics firm, told Newsbytes that InnoVentry was only founded last year, but has developed a range of ATMs which are aimed at the "self banked," that is, people who do not have a regular bank account.

Surprisingly, Visionics says that there are more than 40 million Americans who do not have a bank account.

The new biometric ATMs are the direct result of InnoVentry's merger with Mr Payroll Corp in March 1999. The FaceIt technology has been developed in its cash machines to allow customers with rapid access to cash with the use of a bank card.

In use, the FaceIt system captures a facial image of the check-cashing customer at the time of enrollment, creating a digital template that is used to verify the customer's identity the next time he or she cashes a check.

The system automatically compares the live image with the stored template. If a match exists, the customer receives his or her cash - often without having to speak to a human operator.

Traditional check-cashing services for people without a bank account have tended to be convenience stores, Newsbytes notes. Visionics expects the early adopters of the machines will be these store outlets, since the system automates transactions and so cuts the cost of processing each check.

Innoventry says that there are already 100 biometric cash-management machines in place in 33 communities across the US. Other machines are being installed at key sites across the US.

In addition to the FaceIt-enabled cash management machines, InnoVentry has also purchased an additional 500 advanced-function ATM machines from Diebold.

These machines, the firm says, will serve as the basic platform for InnoVentry's new RPM (Rapid Payment Machine), scheduled for rollout during the fourth quarter of the year in the Houston, Phoenix and Dallas Fort-Worth areas.

The plan is for FaceIt to be incorporated in these and future InnoVentry installations.

Mary Burczyk, a spokesperson for Innoventry, told Newsbytes that the firms plans to have around 175 RPM cash machines in place in the Hoston, Phoenix and Dallas area by the end of the year. The firm already has around 100 Mr Payroll check cashing machines in 33 areas across the US, she said.

The RPM machines are unusual, Newsbytes notes, in the fact that they are less ATMs and more like PCs, since they use Internet protocol (IP) technology to communicate with a centralized computer system.

InnoVentry's Web site is at http://www.innoventry.com

Thanks Kinetic!

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