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Giving Banks the Finger | Barclays to use finger vein identification

OWoN: This will be the start of a great step forward to help reduce damned passwords. A whole new meaning to giving it the finger.


Technology: The banking giant has also launched ‘voice biometrics’ for customers of Barclays Wealth, which identifies customers by their voice and puts them through to a call centre employee


Time to ditch the PIN number: Barclays set to unveil technology that will identify customers using the veins in their finger

  • VeinID system uses infrared lights to scan blood flow under the skin
  • Chances of two people sharing the same profile said to be one in a million
  • Every internet banking customer will have to plug scanner into computer
  • It will be launched for 30,000 business clients at beginning of next year

Mail Online
By James Salmon
4 September 2014

If you’re constantly forgetting your bank PIN number, help is at hand – literally.

Barclays is launching a new ‘biometric reader’ that can identify customers by the veins in their finger.

Instead of using a PIN or password, internet banking customers will merely have to press their finger on a scanner plugged into their computer, which will use infrared lights to scan the veins and blood flow under the skin to confirm the user’s identity.

Customers will then have to scan the same finger a second time to confirm their transaction as part of the bank's ongoing bid to combat fraud.


Futuristic: Barclays is launching a new ‘biometric reader’ (pictured) that can identify customers by their veins


The gadget will use VeinID, a system developed by Japanese firm Hitachi. Each customer’s so-called ‘vein profile’ will be stored on a SIM card inside the device.

You will still be able to log in using the reader if you suffer a superficial cut to your finger – and if you suffer a ‘severe trauma or loss of finger’, Barclays has said you can call up the bank and simply re-register with another finger instead.

Many gadget fans will already be familiar with fingerprint technology, used in smartphones such as the iPhone 5S. But fraudsters have found ways to beat these sensors by targeting people who fall asleep in public, or taking fingerprints that have been left behind on other surfaces.

Barclays says VeinID is more secure than fingerprint technology, with the chances of two people sharing the same ‘finger-vein profile’ rated as one in a million. Because the system scans a finger’s bloodflow, it cannot be circumvented using severed digits.

The devices will be launched for Barclays’ 30,000 largest business customers at the beginning of next year, before being offered to around 830,000 small businesses. The bank hopes to eventually offer a similar system to its 15million ordinary retail customers.

Ashok Vaswani, the boss of Barclays’ retail and corporate banking, admitted that a wider roll-out could take some time, as the technology is rather cumbersome.

It is only designed for use with computers rather than smartphones and tablets, which are increasingly popular for online banking.

Mr Vaswani said: ‘We have to stay at the forefront of technology to combat fraud – because the fraudsters will use everything in their power to go after us.

‘We must continue to increase our arsenal to protect the company against the bad guys.’

Finger-vein cash machines have already been installed in Japan and North America. Poland became the first country in Europe to introduce the technology this year.

These include Pingit, which allows customers to send or receive money using just a mobile phone number, and a wristband that can be swiped over a terminal at a shop or pay point on the bus or station platform to make a purchase.

Barclays has also launched ‘voice biometrics’ for customers of Barclays Wealth, which identifies customers by their voice and puts them through to a call centre employee.

James Daley, founder of consumer website Fairer Finance, said the vein scanning device would not be out of place in the Tom Cruise science fiction thriller Minority Report.

He said: ‘I have to assume Barclays wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t completely safe - as it stands to lose out. If the technology works I can see other banks following suit pretty quickly’.

James Daley, founder of the consumer website Fairer Finance, said: ‘I have to assume Barclays wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t completely safe.

‘If the technology works I can see other banks following suit pretty quickly’.

Banks are legally obliged to foot the bill if a fraudulent transaction has been made, unless they can prove a customer has been negligent - for example by leaving their PIN number lying around.

More than £450million was lost by UK banks last year on fraudulent transactions on credit and debit cards, according to Financial Fraud Action UK. This marked a 16 per cent increase on the previous year.

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1 comment :

  1. OK this is scary...now someone will cut off you finger to get your information...

    ReplyDelete

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