Barclays bank to replace pin numbers with finger readers
Barclays bank is introducing finger vein technology for its business customers, which the bank announced will soon replace the humble pin number.
The new technology will allow customers to access their online bank account and authorise transactions without using a digital pin or password.
Japanese electronics giant Hitachi has teamed up with the corporation to produce the VeinID system which uses a portable biometric reader to identify a person’s unique finger vein pattern.
LED transmitters within the device beam invisible light rays through the person’s finger that are converted into an infra-red map of the capillaries unique to each individual.
Unlike fingerprints the pattern of blood vessels under the skin is extremely difficult to replicate. The bank believes the technology will help combat identity fraud that has increased at an alarming rate over the last five years.
Chief executive of Barclays corporate banking Ashok Vaswani said: “We have shown the technology to a range of businesses and the interest and enthusiasm for the product is tremendous. The technology has also been tested by Hitachi for many years and it will be game-changing for UK businesses and consumers.”
A bank spokesperson said: “The scanned finger must be attached to a live human body in order for the veins in the finger to be authenticated. Barclays will not hold the user’s vein pattern and there will be no public record of it.”
The bank insisted that a cut-off finger couldn’t be used to access a person’s bank account.
The technology is already being used in Europe with 2,000 ATMs in Poland currently fitted with the readers.
Barclays Bank plans to roll out VeinID across the UK by as early as 2015.