Hands Transform into Scam-Proof ATM Cards
Fujitsu's biometric palm vein authentication is now installed in thousands of Japanese bank ATMs.
Put your hands up for vein-reading technology that could make buying or banking as easy as waving your hand at a scanner. Hitachi and Fujitsu have already put the vein scanners in 80,000 ATMs across Japan as a way of fighting scams and making money transactions virtually painless.
The vein scanners do their magic by detecting the unique patterns of veins beneath each individual's hand ? a biometrics technology that was in the works more than a decade ago. Early development of the technology meant Hitachi and Fujitsu were ready when Japan's government demanded a scam-proof replacement for old magnetic-stripe cards in the aftermath of a 2005 ATM scam, according to IEEE Spectrum.
Pushing the technology forward does carry some privacy risks, because customer palm info is stored inside a centralized database. But Japan's willingness to embrace such biometric technology on a grand scale could push it further into the future toward a truly cashless society. [Credit, Debit or Digital: Currencies of the Future]
That might also provide some inspiration for U.S. banks to get beyond old magnetic stripe cards. The future of banking here still looks like it belongs to the crooks rather than financial institutions ? the U.S. Secret Service broke up a gang of scammers who used 3D printing technology to make perfect replicas of ATM card skimmers in a 2011 case.
Source: IEEE Spectrum