Seven Bank Ltd. on Sept. 12 said it has developed Japan’s first ATM that uses facial recognition technology to identify users and does away with the need for cards.

The bank plans to replace all 25,000 Seven Bank ATMs at convenience stores, commercial facilities and elsewhere with the new machines within six years.

The company will start negotiating with its business partners, including more than 600 financial institutions, on when to start the new ATM service.

The facial-recognition ATM was jointly developed with NEC Corp. The costs of developing and installing the ATMs are expected to be in the tens of billions of yen.

Cameras on the machines scan the users’ faces, and the photo data is checked against pictures on driver’s licenses or other identification cards registered in advance.

In addition to deposits and withdrawals, Seven Bank wants users to eventually be able to use the new ATMs to open accounts.

According to Takashi Niino, president and CEO of NEC, the accuracy of the facial recognition technology in the ATM is “99.99 percent,” if there are no problems, such as brightness issues, in the environment surrounding the machines.

Improvements have been made to automatically detect and report to authorities the use of forged cards or stolen information.

The new ATMs were being developed at a time when society is increasingly going cashless and usage of ATMs is declining.

“It is necessary to create new social values with innovative technology to allow the ATM business to survive,” Yasuaki Funatake, president and representative director of Seven Bank, said.