Barclays launches UK’s first biometric reader for customers

Barclays, in partnership with Hitachi Europe, is ramping up the “fight against fraud” with the launch of the Barclays Biometric Reader, developed by Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication Technology (VeinID) — a “new, groundbreaking” method for customer authentication in UK banking. By simply scanning their finger, customers will be able to access their online bank accounts and authorizing payments within seconds, without the need for PINs, passwords or authentication codes.
The pioneering technology will initially be available to Barclays Corporate Banking customers next year. The device can read and very the user’s unique vein patterns in the finger, helping to combat identity fraud experienced by UK businesses.
Hitachi’s VeinID is recognized as one of the “most secure biometrics on the market.” Unlike fingerprints, vein patterns are “extremely difficult to spoof or replicate.” 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.
Hitachi’s VeinID is currently used by Japanese, North American and European banks for password replacement, single sign on and within ATM machines. However, the combination of vein biometric and “highly secure digital signature technology” in the Barclays Biometric Reader is a “first for the global financial sector.” There is future potential for it to be introduced more widely in UK branch networks, bringing this technology to millions of consumers.
This launch follows the bank’s introduction of voice biometrics for its Barclays Wealth customers to identify themselves on phone calls, removing the need for passwords or security questions.
Ashok Vaswani, Barclays Personal & Corporate Banking CEO:
“This solution is at the leading innovation and in direct response to client concerns about the threat of online fraud while making our customers 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 pay the way for other institutions to adopt equally robust technology in the fight against crime.”
Koichi Naki, Hitachi President, Services Creation Division, Information & Telecommunications Systems Company:
“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.”
This partnership has resulted in a new solution for the provision of secure transactions in the banking sector. This collaboration is an example of Hitachi’s focus on its social innovation business — improving society by delivering innovations through solutions which combine products, services and “highly sophisticated” IT.
Source: Barclays
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