Written for The Fintech Times by David Orme (Senior Vice President, IDEX Biometrics)
IDEX is a leading developer of advanced off-chip fingerprint sensors and complete system solutions to a range of biometrically-enabled applications, with a focus on smart cards.
Payment cards have been in use since the 1950s. For decades we relied on signatures as a form of security, until 2006, when chip and PIN cards were introduced to the UK. Yet PINs are notoriously vulnerable, with many people using obvious numbers or even writing them down. This is why phones have been using fingerprint technology since 2004. But getting a fingerprint sensor on a card has – until now – been a challenge. Cards are thin, lightweight and have no power source. This is where IDEX and its innovative fingerprint recognition system comes in. The technology is now ready to be attached to the every-day payment card we all use across the globe.
Security is a huge factor that faces the banking industry. It is vital for IDEX to put emphasis on protecting both the financial and personal information of its users.
Financial inclusion and being able to manage our money is a fundamental aspect of life. With an estimated 47 million people in the world currently living with dementia, the use of assistive technologies is crucial to maintain financial independence.
At present, some people use ‘chip and signature’ cards, meaning that the person with dementia only has to provide a signature and does not have to remember any numbers. But what if someone didn’t even need to remember their signature? A fingerprint sensor on the card can take the place of a PIN or signature. Recent breakthroughs have paved the way for a new process that will allow card users to simply receive a sleeve through the mail, and upload their fingerprint to the card from the comfort of their home.
IDEX anticipates that each banking customer may deploy as many as 100,000 biometric cards to their account holders by the end of 2018, and that biometric bank card adoption will go into many millions from 2019.
Thanks to IDEX’s biometric smart card innovation, people making card payments will no longer have to compromise security for convenience. By linking individuals directly to the card by using their fingerprint, users can be safe in the knowledge that they are the only person that can use the card.
For more on the tech that’s changing the way you handle (quite literally) your finances click here.