Very few banks are currently employing radio frequency identification to identify their VIP customers, though we have written about a few early pilots.
In 2008, Yes Bank, a commercial bank that maintains 101 branches across India, completed a pilot of an RFID system enabling branch employees to identify customers as they entered a particular location. The technology made it possible for patrons to receive personalized service without having to identify themselves (see Yes Bank Uses RFID to Personalize Service).
In addition, two Chinese banks are using RFID to improve customer service (see Chinese Banks Track Assets, Cash and VIP Customers). And a Westport, Conn., startup firm, Novitaz, reported that it was piloting an active RFID system at a bank in India that asked not to be named (see Companies Use Active RFID Cards to Improve Customer Service). Each customer carries a loyalty card with an embedded RFID transponder that transmits its ID number to a reader, so that the patron can be identified upon entering the building.
As far as the ability to accurately identify customers, a well-designed system should work 100 percent of the time. The question that banks need to ask is how customers wish to be identified. Some might consider an RFID system that automatically identifies them an intrusion on their privacy, while some might not want to carry an active RFID transponder. These, of course, are issues that have nothing to do with technology, but that are vital to the success of any deployment, nonetheless.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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