Barclays bank launches biometric authentication

Barclays bank plans to launch biometric readers that read users' finger veins to authenticate customers

Barclays announced plans to launch biometric readers for customer authentication.

The technology has been developed with Hitachi's Finger Vein Authentication Technology, also known as VeinID.

Using this method of authentication will eliminate the need for PINs and passwords, and similar technology is already in use in Japan, North America and some parts of Europe.

The bank claims the technology will prevent fraud as it recognises vein patterns in users' fingers unique to each individual. Once registered, the vein data will be stored on a SIM card. For extra security the bank will not hold records of the biometric data.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, said the system was very simple and secure.

 Vaswani 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.”

The technology – which will initially be available to Barclays Corporate Banking clients from 2015 – is the first example of combining vein biometrics and digital signature technology in the global finance sector.

This is not the first time Barclays has developed alternative authentication methods - last year the bank launched voice recognition technology which, combined with caller ID, helps callcentre agents identify customers.

The bank has recently been expanding its available payment methods, and was recently ranked best for mobile banking by research firm Forrester.

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