Barclays launches biometric reader for corporate clients

image of a finger showing clearly the fingerprint biometric technology

Barclays and Hitachi have stepped up their fight against fraud with the introduction of the Barclays Biometric reader.

Simply by scanning their finger, customers will be able to access their online bank accounts and authorise payments within seconds – without the need for PIN, passwords or authentication codes. The technology will initially just be available to Barclays Corporate Banking clients in 2015, but could potentially be introduced more widely in UK branch networks at a later date.

The compact device can read and verify the users’ unique vein patterns in the finger, and Barclays expect it to combat the identity fraud experienced by UK businesses. Unlike finger prints, 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 already 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 highly secure digital signature technology in the Barclays Biometric Reader is a first for the global financial sector.

“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,” said Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking. “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,” he added.

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