Verifast streamlines employee identification by authenticating them through palm vein biometrics.

Over the last 30 years, biometrics has gone from being a piece of science fiction to mainstream across many platforms, with credit unions now taking advantage of its authentication capabilities in branches and mobile applications.

The practical use of biometrics dates back to the 14th century, when Chinese merchants used ink-stamped palm and foot prints to distinguish children. In the 1880s, Parisian anthropologist Alphonse Bertillon developed a method of identification through multiple body measurements, which enjoyed a run as a forensics tool, but due to measurement flaws fingerprinting supplanted the Bertillon technique as the primary biometrics method.

Today, many unique human characteristics can be used to authenticate individuals, such as fingerprints, voices, speech, faces, irises, retinas, hand geometry, facial thermography, keystroke dynamics, gait, body odor, veins, foot and palm prints, handwriting (or signatures) and even  tongues (the “say ah” method).

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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.).

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