Give The Finger To The Atm And Get Cash!
You go to the ATM, stick a finger in it and the cash comes out. “In your dreams!” you say? Well, not quite. It is happening as we speak or rather write. In the not so near future you will be doing it.
A joint project between Hitachi and a Polish Banking Service provider Itcard S. A., “Planet Cash” will be using “Finger Vein” technology. ATM machines using this technology will have a “finger” scanner instead of a slot for your card, and will recognize you by the pattern of the veins. The companies are already installing this biometric technology across Poland and it will be available on a minimum of 1730 machines by this year. The secret behind this tech is that our vein patterns like our fingerprints are unique to us.You may wonder what is to stop a robber from hacking off your finger and using it a là Hollywood crime thrillers. That gruesome scenario is impossible. The system uses a near-infrared light source with a CCD camera. When the finger is placed between the light source and the camera, the near-infrared light passes through the finger. During the process, it is partially absorbed by the hemoglobin in the veins and a unique 3D vein pattern is captured by the camera. This pattern is checked against a pre-registered pattern in the database. With a detached finger, the blood would quickly run out of the veins and the pattern won’t be made. It will only work with live tissue. This system is much safer than the combination of magnetic stripe and PIN number that is in use right now.
Why not use fingerprints? Well agreed that fingerprints are also unique, that should work. No doubt. But here’s the thing. They are easy to forge. You leave your fingerprints everywhere. On the glass you are drinking from, on the bill from the phone company which you looked at, or even on the screen of your smartphone. Lifting a print is just technology and nothing else. In contrast, the veins are inside your body and invisible to the naked eye, they are impossible to detect by any ordinary means, and almost impossible to forge.
Vein technology is not absolutely new here. Already in Sweden some shopping outlets are using hand-swipe devices for receiving payments. These use vein-scanning of the entire palm to recognition and authorization. Finger-vein technology represents a miniaturization of the above that lets it be embedded in a wide range of devices. Soon you may be able to start your car, open doors… the possibilities are almost endless. It could even be possible to do away with the key-lock system or the magnetic lock system completely. Think about laptops and phones with fingerprint recognition. They could easily be replaced by this much more secure system. You could lose your card, or forget your PIN but your finger is always there, safely attached to your body.
Governments and banks are extremely concerned that the money dispensed from cash machines fall into the right hands. In this case, that is virtually assured. With the expansion of secure cloud storage, we will be adding a secure and fool-proof way to access them.
This system over and above being secure is inexpensive to run and easy to implement. It also makes the insecure practice of sharing an ATM card impossible. This technology, now in a fledgling state shows a lot of promise.
Perhaps very soon you will be able to go to your ATM, and with a simple flick of your finger, withdraw cash, check your balance, and make payments… all the things that need a card and a PIN now.