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Applications of RFID in Banks

Heightened interest in RFID technology among banks and other financial institutions is driven by the need to improve both operational efficiencies and data security. Some banks that were previously using barcoding to keep track of inventory in their data centers are realizing improvements of as much as 90% in data accuracy, not to mention significant reductions in the amount of time that it takes to conduct inventory assessment. On the security front, using RFID in banks adds a layer of protection for bank and customer data and reduces the chances of this information being lost.

Here are some specific examples of how RFID might be used in banks and other financial institutions:

Enhanced Customer Service for Wealthy Customers

A bank wishing to provide speedier and more personalized service to its high net worth customers can attach an RFID tag or chip to the customer’s bank card or passbook. Upon entering the bank, the RFID tag is automatically scanned, and a customer information system alerts bank staff that a high level client needs service. An available teller can then greet the customer by name and have his or her account information ready. While this RFID solution may improve efficiency and the level of service that the bank is able to provide, it should be noted that clients may have privacy concerns and should be allowed to opt-out of such a service.

Tracking Courier Bags

RFID tags can be attached to the courier bags used to transport important documents from bank branches to central processing centers.

Tracking Laptop Computers

In banks that provide laptops to employees in certain roles, having the ability to track these assets would help ensure that the laptops do not leave the building in the wrong hands.

Payment Programs

A bank cards with an embedded RFID chip can be used to make a payment without swiping the card or entering a PIN. The card is simply placed in front of an RFID reader at a retail location, and the payment is processed automatically. As with a previous example, consumer privacy and data security concerns would need to be addressed. Consumers should be allowed to opt-out, and in order to prevent “data skimming”, the card could be placed in a protective sleeve or wallet when not in use.