An India banking company is developing a biometric security system to authenticate withdrawals.

Rushikulya Gramya Bank operates in several poor areas of Orissa state, where literacy levels are low, a bank official said last week. "Hence, we decided to launch biometric ATM cards," he said last week.

The bank sends representatives to villages where customers will authenticate themselves with fingerprints for withdrawals.

Customers will also be able to use the cards to make withdrawals at automated teller machines operated by Andhra Bank, a Hyderabad financial company that is developing the biometric system with Rushikulya Gramya.

The project is expected to be completed by next March, after Rushikulya Gramya upgrades its systems; The Reserve Bank of India asked all regional rural banks in the country in January to update their core systems by September 2011; the project involves networking branches to let customers manage their accounts and use banking services from any branch in the network.