Over the last 30 years biometrics moved from science fiction tomainstream across many platforms with credit unions now takingadvantage of its authentication capabilities in branch and mobileapplications.

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Today, many biometric methods can authenticate individuals:fingerprints, voice, speech, face, iris, retina, hand geometry,facial thermography, keystroke dynamics, gait, body odor, veins,foot and palm prints, handwriting (or signature) and eventongues.

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Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv's Verifast, Palm Authenticationtechnology integrates Fujitsu palm-vein biometrics to improve security and operational efficiency. Thetech, which captures some five million reference points of eachmember's biometric data, eliminates the need for otheridentification.

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On the consumer side, Fiserv couples palm vein with a tablet,which allows financial institutions to validate members' IDs withhovering hands over an infrared sensing device. Enrollment takesabout 50 seconds and authentication takes less than a second.

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“We are taking pictures of blood flowing beneath the skin. Thenwe are converting that into a biometric template unique to thatperson, not even twins have the same pattern,” Dave Reim, directorproduct management, Open Solutions at Fiserv, said.

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For employees Verifast mitigates the multiple credentials staffneeds to access various programs by authenticating them through thepalm biometric. The process uses a mouse equipped with a palmreader to detect employees vein pattern.

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A recent installation about to rollout Verifast, PalmAuthentication is the $95 million Huntsville, Texas based CommunityService Credit Union.

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The credit union jumped at the chance to install palm veintechnology to improve security and member experience when itlearned Fiserv was looking for Beta sites. By the end of 2017 theorganization had a deal to do employee and member palm-veinauthentication.

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The $1.95 billion, Richland, Wash.-based Gesa Credit Unionemployed the Verifast, palm technology to reduce identity fraud,shrink transaction times and improve overall branch service.

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Gesa won two awards for pioneering the use of biometrics intheir branches. Gesa intends to officially rolls out palm vein toits entire branch network by the end of June.

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The $3.3 Portsmouth, N.H.-based Service Credit Union usesbiometrics internally and externally. The credit union, a hybridcommunity-based institution with some 230,000 members consisting ofthose living or working in New Hampshire and personnel on militarybases, including 36 U.S.-based and 14 branches in Germany.

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Inside, all the credit union's computers use fingerprintauthentication through Digital Persona. Externally, Service usesbiometrics in its mobile banking through Apple Touch ID and AndroidFingerprint ID, built by NCR, which is the credit union's providerfor home banking and mobile including phones and tablets.

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Read the full article in the May 16 issue of CUTimes.

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Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).