Finger vein patterns are key to authentication

9th June 2015
Barney Scott

Bank Zachodni WBK, part of the Santander Group and Poland's third-largest bank in terms of asset value and number of outlets, has introduced a biometric signature solution using Hitachi Finger Vein biometrics to its branch network, on a pilot basis. Since April 2015, customers of Zachodni in Lubin, and since June, in selected branches in Warsaw, can authenticate and sign personal account agreements using just their finger.

The Bank Zachodni WBK campaign's advertising slogan, "Finger vein - weryfikacja biometryczna. Bezpieczeństwo i wygoda w jednym palcu. Wypróbuj nowa technologię!", means: "Finger vein - biometric verification. Safety and convenience in one finger. Try the new technology!" Given Santander Group's global reach, customers all over the world could soon see this slogan translated into their language as the ATM of the future arrives.

The purpose of the introduction of Finger Vein biometric technology in Bank Zachodni WBK is to increase the safety and speed of branch transactions, the convenience of access to banking services, and essentially to limit paper documentation in the bank.

"The solution can contribute to a reduction of 80% of paper documents and at the same time increase the convenience for our customers. Security is also a very important aspect, which continues to play a key role for us during the selection of new technologies. Hitachi's Finger Vein biometrics technology has been selected to help us reach this target," said Pawel Wieczorek, Member of the Board and CTO, Bank Zachodni WBK.

Hitachi's Finger Vein solution has already been implemented, on a pilot basis, in branches of Bank Zachodni WBK in Lubin city (Lower Silesian region). By using the Finger Vein reader and touch-screen monitor, customers can authenticate and sign personal account agreements with the bank by their finger. Documents signed electronically will be automatically sent to their e-mail address.

"Hitachi's Finger Vein implementation in Bank Zachodni WBK has a strategic meaning for the development of biometrics in Poland and Europe. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful cooperation with Bank Zachodni WBK and Santander Group." said Tadeusz Woszczynski, Regional Director, Central & Eastern Europe, Information Systems Group, Hitachi Europe Ltd.

Biometrics is a form of technology used to authenticate an individual based on physical or behavioural features, such as iris, fingerprint, voice or vein patterns. Bank Zachodni WBK has chosen Finger Vein biometrics, which is based on unique patterns of veins inside the human finger. This technology has been proven in banking globally and at the same time provides the highest level of security and privacy for bank customers.

Hitachi's Finger Vein biometrics has an 80% market share of the biometrics used in the banking sector in Japan, while in Poland it has been used successfully in the banking sector since 2010. The main applications of Finger Vein include authentication of branch transactions, card-less withdrawals from the ATMs, electronic document signing and authorisation of online banking operations.

Following a successful pilot project, the bank plans to implement Hitachi's Finger Vein technology in all branches. Currently, the bank is also considering a pilot in its other channels, i.e. ATMs and online banking services (for corporate customers). The collaboration of Hitachi and Bank Zachodni WBK is an example of Hitachi's focus on its Social Innovation Business - improving society by delivering innovations through solutions which combine products, services and highly sophisticated IT.

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