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Barclays first in UK to launch new Biometric Reader for customers

Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication technology set to revolutionise account security in UK banking

Barclays Biometric Reader
Barclays Biometric Reader

Barclays, in partnership with Hitachi Europe Ltd. is ramping up the fight against fraud with the launch of the Barclays Biometric Reader, developed with Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication Technology (VeinID*) - a new, ground-breaking method for customer authentication in UK banking. By simply scanning their finger, customers will be able to easily access their online bank accounts and authorise payments within seconds, without the need for PIN, passwords or authentication codes.

The pioneering technology will be initially available to Barclays Corporate Banking clients from 2015. The compact device can read and verify the users’ unique vein patterns in the finger, helping to combat identity fraud experienced by UK businesses.

Hitachi’s VeinID is recognised as one of the most secure biometrics in the market. Unlike finger prints, 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.

Hitachi’s VeinID is already used by banks for password replacement, single sign on and ATM machines, in Japan, North America and Europe. However, the combination of vein biometric and highly secure digital signature technology in the Barclays Biometric Reader is a first for the global financial sector. There is future potential for it to be introduced more widely in UK branch networks, bringing this powerful technology to millions of consumers.

The launch of the Barclays Biometric Reader follows on from the bank’s successful introduction of voice biometrics for its Barclays Wealth customers to identify themselves on phone calls, removing the need for passwords or security questions.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, said: “This solution is at the leading edge of innovation and is in direct response to client concerns about the threat of online fraud while making our customers’ lives easier through its convenience. We have shown the technology to a range of businesses and the interest and enthusiasm for the product is tremendous. The technology has also been tested by Hitachi for many years and it will be game-changing for UK businesses and consumers.

“Ultimately, I hope this will pave the way for other institutions to adopt equally robust technology in the fight against online crime.”

Koichi Nakai, President, Services Creation Division, Information & Telecommunications Systems Company, Hitachi, Ltd said: "We are proud to be partnering with Barclays to pioneer a new era of security in UK banking. The use of our proven VeinID offers a safe and reliable biometric solution. In a world where cybercrime is on the rise, VeinID offers one of the industry’s most advanced authentication technologies ensuring businesses and their customers can stay one step ahead of fraudsters.”

Hitachi’s partnership with Barclays has resulted in a new solution for the provision of secure transactions in the banking sector. This collaboration 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.

Notes to Editors:

*(VeinID) is a safe, reliable, non-invasive biometrics solution which provides fast and accurate identity authentication by reading vein patterns in the finger.

About Barclays

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 135,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

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