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Barclays, with Hitachi Europe Ltd. is launching the Barclays Biometric Reader. It’s been developed with Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication Technology (VeinID) – as a method for customer authentication in UK banking. By scanning their finger, customers will be able to access their online bank accounts and authorise payments, within seconds the companies say, without the need for PIN, passwords or authentication codes.
The product will be initially available to Barclays Corporate Banking clients from 2015. The device can read and verify the users’ unique vein patterns in the finger. The aim; to combat identity fraud.
Unlike finger prints, vein patterns are the firms say difficult to spoof or replicate. The scanned finger must be attached to a live human body 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.
Hitachi’s VeinID is used by banks for password replacement, single sign on and ATM machines, in Japan, North America and Europe. However, the combination of vein biometric and digital signature in the Barclays reader is claimed to be a first for the global financial sector. The companies say that there is potential for it to be introduced more widely in UK branches.
This follows from the bank’s introduction of voice biometrics for its Barclays Wealth customers to identify themselves on phone calls, doing away with the need for passwords or security questions.
Ashok Vaswani, CEO Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, said: “This solution is at the leading edge of innovation and is in direct response to client concerns about the threat of online fraud while making our customers’ lives easier through its convenience. 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. Ultimately, I hope this will pave the way for other institutions to adopt equally robust technology in the fight against online crime.”
And Koichi Nakai, President, Services Creation Division, Information and Telecommunications Systems Company, Hitachi, Ltd said: “We are proud to be partnering with Barclays to pioneer a new era of security in UK banking. The use of our proven VeinID offers a safe and reliable biometric solution. In a world where cybercrime is on the rise, VeinID offers one of the industry’s most advanced authentication technologies ensuring businesses and their customers can stay one step ahead of fraudsters.”