Barclays Bank has unveiled that it plans to use a vein scanner to allow large scale corporate customers to securely log into their accounts remotely.
The vein scanner will use infrared light to capture and record an image of the user’s unique index finger veins. The infrared light used will be transmitted through the finger and be partially absorbed by haemoglobin in the veins to capture a unique finger vein pattern profile. When the user wants to access their account, the biometric scanner will use the veins identified and cross reference with the pattern is has stored on a smart card (similar to the cards used to store details for Chip and PIN transactions).
Barclays have partnered with Japanese firm Hitachi’s VeinID finger vein scanner authentication technology with a digital signature system to create the Barclays Biometric Reader. This will allow Barclays corporate customers to log on to online bank accounts and authorise payments without the need for PIN, passwords or authentication codes.
The bank has decided to use this vein scanner method as a way of allowing its users to securely access their accounts as it is one of the strongest and unique protection techniques. As an internal structure, a finger vein pattern is nearly impossible to fake unlike other biometric identifiers such as finger prints, which can be forged.
Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays personal and corporate banking, said that “finger veins have been demonstrated to be the most distinguishing feature of any person so it gives the highest level of security,” and that “if it had any known issues we would never ask our clients to go down that path. The security in finger vein scanning is about the highest you can get and that’s why we feel so confident in it.”
Barclays have commented that the device will start to be rolled out to its largest corporate customers in 2015.