Tech News

The Rise of Biometric Banking


Biometric banking might seem like a foreign term to you right now, however, it is quickly becoming a daily occurrence for many people to be using at least a slight amount of biometric banking. Biometric age included most of us into its world when the iPhone 5S introduced the touch ID fingerprint reader, allowing the start of the future that we are in now. Samsung soon followed with their version of the technology in their Galaxy S5.

Fingerprint ID

Of course, it is now a regular occurrence to unlock your phone with your fingerprint. However, banks such as NatWest and RBS are now accepting this as a way to log on to their accounts and to carry out daily banking activities. This has sparked a large amount of controversy, including a raised eyebrow from the german hacker Starbug. Jan Krissler, the man behind Starbug. He managed to hack Apple’s touch ID around a day after its first launch by using nothing more than a scanner, printer and small amount of glue. Krissler reported that there was nothing easier than hacking someone’s phone when all they use is their fingerprint, due to the fact that fingerprints leave their marks on everything that they touch. This allows investigators to solve crimes using the same method. Krissler proved the ease of the hacking by reproducing the fingerprint of German Defence Minister Ursula von de Leyen, by using nothing but his previous equipment and photographs from a press conference from over ten feet away…

Making it Tougher

Due to the ease of hacking, Barclays are introducing their finger vein authentication method for their banking which is developed and designed by Hitachi in Japan, and it is currently being used in cash machines in both Japan and Poland. The vein pattern is a lot different than your fingerprint; having been established from the womb and staying the same throughout your life. This means that when your finger is near infrared light it is transmitted through and can pick up the vein pattern that is unique to you, and no one else.

However, it’s not just your finger that you can pay with. If scanners aren’t your style then Toronto-based Bionym have developed a wristband which verifies your identity based on your unique heartbeat electrical pulses. Or if that still isn’t your thing, then Cognitec, a Dresden-based company, are working on facial recognition to use to log into your banking, and to make purchases. Not only that but EyeLock, a New York company is working on an iris scanner which is call Myris. They are convinced that the only safe way to bank is to use your DNA that was blessed to you by your parents. Although these may seem like huge technological breakthroughs, the process of each of these banking secrets are too invasive for credit card companies and banks to start bringing into their stores.

With rumours of a new technology, by planting a chip under your skin to verify who you are by scanning you like a barcode, it is fair to say that most of us will be sticking with my card for now. I’d rather run the risk of someone taking my card, then pulling out a microchip, and I’m sure you will agree. It seems like biometric banking is definitely getting smarter, but it could also be getting quite a bit more horror sci-fi film too.

About the author

Rebecca Walton

Rebecca has always been fascinated with the business and tech world, having grown up with parents in the industry. She has a real passion for science - particularly space and the unknown realms that surround the planet! Rebecca has been writing for different publications for nearly 6 years and is now an editor at Pangaea Express.