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New Way to Secure Through Biometrics

A Danish company has received a patent for a new type of card that imbeds the ability to swipe and use a fingerprint on the card itself. Scanecotech AS's new biometric card is a standard size credit card that can be used on all existing equipment such as retail scanners and automated teller machines.

It is secured, however, by a user's fingerprint. When the card is first issued, the user swipes two fingers across a scanner on the card. (The second finger is insurance against a situation in which one of the fingers is injured and cannot be clearly scanned).

To use the card, cardholders swipe one of the two authorized fingers across a card's reader and then uses the card as they normally would. The card can be configured to be activated for a predetermined time of several minutes or configured to become inactive once data is transferred.In inactive mode, the card is just a piece of plastic.

The company says the card lasts for about 2,000 activations and that normal plastic cards are used about 1,000 times in two years. It says the advantage of on-card biometrics is that no fingerprint or personal information must be stored on a central database.

Copyright © 2005 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 15, No. 6, 7/05

First published on 07/01/2005

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