Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time to embrace biometric ATM scans?

By Jim Kim

People have been talking about biometrics as a financial services security tool for a while now. At least one recent report suggests [1] that the financial sector is indeed emerging as a "potential adopter" and driving force in the global biometric market, which is set to grow at a near 20 percent average annual growth rate through 2012.

More banks do seem to be pondering ways to develop an easy and more convenient authentication alternative to cards and PINs for a range of transactions. North America and Europe dominated the biometric market in 2009 and will do so through 2012. Asia-Pacific and Middle East and Africa will also emerge.

Biometrics can be used at all levels, at the employee and customer authentication levels and beyond. A glimpse of the future comes from Warsaw, where one bank says it is the first in Europe to install a biometric ATM, "allowing customers to withdraw cash simply with the touch of a fingertip." The digit-scanning ATM runs on a system developed by Hitachi. The company says that "an infrared light is passed through the finger to detect a unique pattern of micro-veins beneath the surface, which is then matched with a pre-registered profile." Tests have indicated a one in a million false acceptance rate.

For more on the biometric ATM in Warsaw,








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