Biometrics: From Science Fiction to Mainstream at Credit Unions

Biometrics: From Science Fiction to Mainstream at Credit Unions
05 May
Biometric technology is coming together for credit unions.

Over the last 30 years biometrics moved from science fiction to mainstream across many platforms with credit unions now taking advantage of its authentication capabilities in branch and mobile applications.

Today, many biometric methods can authenticate individuals: fingerprints, voice, speech, face, iris, retina, hand geometry, facial thermography, keystroke dynamics, gait, body odor, veins, foot and palm prints, handwriting (or signature) and even tongues.

Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv’s Verifast, Palm Authentication technology integrates Fujitsu palm-vein biometrics to improve security and operational efficiency. The tech, which captures some five million reference points of each member’s biometric data, eliminates the need for other identification.

On the consumer side, Fiserv couples palm vein with a tablet, which allows financial institutions to validate members’ IDs with hovering hands over an infrared sensing device. Enrollment takes about 50 seconds and authentication takes less than a second.

“We are taking pictures of blood flowing beneath the skin. Then we are converting that into a biometric template unique to that person, not even twins have the same pattern,” Dave Reim, director product management, Open Solutions at Fiserv, said.

For employees Verifast mitigates the multiple credentials staff needs to access various programs by authenticating them through the palm biometric. The process uses a mouse equipped with a palm reader to detect employees vein pattern.

A recent installation about to rollout Verifast, Palm Authentication is the $95 million Huntsville, Texas based Community Service Credit Union.

The credit union jumped at the chance to install palm vein technology to improve security and member experience when it learned Fiserv was looking for Beta sites. By the end of 2017 the organization had a deal to do employee and member palm-vein authentication.

The $1.95 billion, Richland, Wash.-based Gesa Credit Union employed the Verifast, palm technology to reduce identity fraud, shrink transaction times and improve overall branch service.

Gesa won two awards for pioneering the use of biometrics in their branches. Gesa intends to officially rolls out palm vein to its entire branch network by the end of June.

The $3.3 Portsmouth, N.H.-based Service Credit Union uses biometrics internally and externally. The credit union, a hybrid community-based institution with some 230,000 members consisting of those living or working in New Hampshire and personnel on military bases, including 36 U.S.-based and 14 branches in Germany.

Inside, all the credit union’s computers use fingerprint authentication through Digital Persona. Externally, Service uses biometrics in its mobile banking through Apple Touch ID and Android Fingerprint ID, built by NCR, which is the credit union’s provider for home banking and mobile including phones and tablets.

Read the full article in the May 16 issue of CU Times.



« »