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Barclays to provide corporate customers with finger vein biometric devices

Barclays' Biometric Reader
BIOMETRIC READER: The device scans the pattern made by blood vessels in a user’s finger

Barclays is to provide its UK corporate banking customers with finger vein biometric authentication devices that will let them “easily access their online bank accounts and authorise payments within seconds, without the need for PIN, passwords or authentication codes.”

The VeinID devices, manufactured by Hitachi, “can read and verify the users’ unique vein patterns in the finger”. They will be rolled out to corporate customers from 2015 with, Barclays says, “future potential for it to be introduced more widely in UK branch networks, bringing this powerful technology to millions of consumers.”

“Hitachi’s VeinID is recognised as one of the most secure biometrics in the market,” the bank adds. “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.”

The technology is already used by a number of banks for password replacement, single sign-on and ATM machine transactions in Japan, North America and Europe, Barclays says, but “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,” Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, explains.

“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.”

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