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May 15, 2014

Hitachi’s technology turns your finger into ATM card, and veins into PIN

Europe’s first biometric ATM launched in Poland

By CBR Staff Writer

Polish consumers can now spare themselves from carrying an ATM card or remembering a PIN, with the launch of ATMs that recognise a user’s finger vein technology.

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The biometric ATMs, being launched by banking services provider ITCard, will eliminate the use of a card or a PIN to withdraw cash, and perform other operations like balance checks etc.

The technology developed by Hitachi will be implemented by ITCard in its network of 1730 Planet Cash ATMs across Poland by the end of 2014.

Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication System works by tracking the veins of the user, which are unique like finger prints.

When a finger is inserted in the machine, near-infrared light passes through the finger.

Haemoglobin in the veins partially absorbs the light and a CCD camera records an image of the veins.

According to Hitachi, the image is matched with the already recorded veins pattern and authenticates the user in about half a second.

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"The process is remarkably accurate – there’s only a 0.0001% chance of someone passing off their vein patterns as yours, as accurate as established iris systems. And, of course, for additional security, you can always record the vein patterns in more than one finger," says the company.

The VeinID technology takes security to the next level from fingerprints. Unlike fingerprints, the veins cannot be replicated nor can they be used forcefully by unscrupulous elements.

Though these are the first biometric ATMs in Europe, the technology is not new to the region as banks in Turkey have been using it since 2009. ITCard is planning to link the ATM network in Poland with the Turkiye IS Bankasi biometric network in Turkey to create an international network of biometric ATMs.

Photo courtesy of Hitachi Ltd.

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