Barclays General News UK

Barclays to introduce biometric finger-vein recognition tech


By John Glenday | Reporter

September 5, 2014 | 2 min read

Barclays is to embrace the biometric ID revolution with the adoption of futuristic ‘finger-vein’ identification technology which promises to accurately identify customers by their distribution of blood vessels.

The machines, which will begin rolling out next year, could spell the end for pin numbers, pass codes and the plethora of authentication measures which now dog online life by singling out the unique signature of each individual’s body.

A portable scanner can be plugged directly into any computer, enabling the owner to simply insert their finger for a quick infra-red scan to gain access to their account. The resulting data is then matched to Barclays own records to confirm identity.

To participate in the scheme customers must first register one of their ten fingers for such purposes, with the bank preferring to get its hands on an index finger, with a separate back-up finger also retained on file – in case of any careless accidents.

Scotching any would-be thieves plotting ways round such measures by cutting off the required digit from the individual concerned Barclays insist that only a live finger with pumping blood will work – meaning people could still be coerced.

A bank spokesperson said: “Unlike fingerprints, vein patterns are extremely difficult to spoof or replicate. The scanned finger must be attached to a live human body in order for the veins in the finger to be authenticated. Barclays will not hold the user's vein pattern and there will be no public record of it."

The finger-vein tech will be rolled out to Barclays 30,000 corporate customers initially before making its way into the consumer sector thereafter.

Barclays General News UK

More from Barclays

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +