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Fingerprint Scanners in Banking Security

Information and financial security is a sore point for many lenders. As soon as banks do not try to protect their clients’ funds, they form a different version of secret numbers for accessing user information, use technologies using microchips, etc. The security market has been using biometric methods for a long time, and now they are being introduced into the banking client system. If earlier banks used similar methods of preserving valuable objects, for example, in vaults, then soon, all bank customers will be subjected to biometric analysis and comparison. Today, banks have already begun to use human papillary scanners. Let us consider this technology in more detail when using borrowed money by bank clients.

The computer technology industry has developed a biometric device called a fingerprint scanner. There are many types of them, and accordingly, they work in different ways. Optical scanners form and analyze the pattern of the papillary pattern by refracting light at minutia. Minutes are lines, curls, curves on each person’s fingers. They make up the print pattern. This pattern is individual and unique for each person.

Definition of fingerprint scanner?

It is a type of biometric security technology that uses hardware and software methods to recognize the user’s fingerprint. It identifies and verifies the authenticity of a person’s fingerprints to allow or deny access to the smartphone, application and other places that need protection from unwanted tampering. There are many different ways to protect personal information, such as biometrics, scanning the iris of the eye, scanning the retina, scanning facial features, and so on, up to a particular blood test or gait. Some smartphones even use an iris scanner, but the implementation of this feature is naturally far from ideal. Why choose a fingerprint scanner? It’s simple: boards for scanning prints are pretty cheap and easy to manufacture and use.

As there are different types of biometric security technologies, so the types of fingerprint scanners have other technologies and implementation methods. There are three types of finger scanners in total:

  1. Optical scanners
  2. Capacitive scanners
  3. Ultrasound scanners.

Optical fingerprint scanner

Like a camera in a smartphone, these sensors have a final resolution. The higher this resolution, the finer details of the sensor’s pattern can distinguish on your finger, the higher the security. However, the sensors of these sensors have a much higher contrast than a conventional camera. They usually have a massive number of diodes per inch to capture an image at close range. But when you touch your finger on the scanner, its camera does not see anything because it is dark, you argue. Right. Therefore, optical scanners also have whole arrays of LEDs as a flash to illuminate the scanned area. Such a design is too bulky for a phone, where the thinness of the case plays an important role. An optical scanner works like a camera.

Capacitive fingerprint scanner

You heard the word capacitive concerning touch screens, and a capacitive scanner works on a similar principle, so you cannot install such a scanner under the display. That is the most common type of fingerprint scanner today. As the name suggests, a capacitor is the main scanning module in a capacitive scanner. Rather than generating a traditional fingerprint image, capacitive scanners use arrays of tiny capacitor circuits to collect fingerprint data. Capacitors store an electrical charge and, by placing a finger on the surface of the scanner, accumulated in the capacitor will be slightly modified in those places where the ridge on the design touches the plate and will remain relatively same, where, on the contrary, there are inclinations in the design. An operation-amplifier integrator circuit is used to track these changes, which can then be recorded using an analogue-to-digital converter.

A capacitive scanner has a specific resolution on which, by the way, its price depends. The higher its resolution, the more it has particular conductive parts smaller in size than the indentations and tubercles of a fingerprint. When you touch such a scanner with your finger, the bumps of the print will touch the conductive parts, but there is no depression. Accordingly, when touched, the charge in the capacitor changes and a “picture” of the surface is built, where the finger touches the surface and does not. The image below illustrates how a capacitive scanner works.

Once the fingerprint data has been captured, the data is digitized and searched for distinctive and unique attributes of the fingerprint, which can be stored for comparison later. The leading advantage of this technology is that it is much better than optical scanners. It cannot reproduce scan results with an image, and it is tough to deceive with prosthetics, that is, an impression of a print. When recognizing a fingerprint, slightly different data are recorded, namely, changes in the charge on the capacitor. The real security menaces come from any hardware or software tampering.

Capacitive finger scanners device utilize rather large arrays of these capacitors, actually a centurion, if not thousands, in a fingerprint scanner device. This offers a high degree of detail info in the image of the ridges and inclination of the fingerprint. As in optical scanners, more capacitors provide a higher resolution of the scanner, increasing the recognition accuracy and, accordingly, the level of security, right down to recognizing the smallest dots.

Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner

Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner devices are the latest in fingerprint recognition technology now. This type of scanner is considered significantly more reliable than an optical one.

The ultrasonic scanner utilizes an ultrasonic transmitter and receiver to identify the fingerprint. Then ultrasonic pulse is dispatched directly to the finger, which is scattered in front of the scanner. In ultrasound scanners, a transducer that detects mechanical stress is used to calculate the intensity of the returning ultrasound pulse at various points on the scanner. Scanning for more extended periods allows for the recognition of additional fingerprint depth data captured, resulting in highly detailed 3D images of the scanned fingerprint. The utilization of 3D technology in this scanning process makes it the safest substitute for capacitive scanners. The only drawback of this technology is that at the moment, it has not yet been worked out and is too expensive.

How do banks use fingerprint scanners?

In 2009, some banks started using biometric technology on their customers. In particular, Sberbank, together with the Incas company, has implemented a social card pilot project. Such a card was used in Astrakhan. Specialized terminals were installed in the region, which had the function of recognizing scanned human fingers. To use such a terminal, customers had to put three fingers to its monitor and cancel a transaction. The last finger was “alarming”, and when a person touched the monitor with it, the screen displayed zero on balance, which was supposed to deceive the scammers.

 In addition to terminals in Astrakhan, minutia scanners began to be used on the so-called AGSES cards. These are cards that have a built-in scanner, and they are customized for a specific person. Such cards are used to personalize the client in Internet banking. A person swipes his finger over the scanner, the card recognizes the fingerprint and sends the request to the bank. If everything is in order, a code for entering Internet banking appears on the card display. Investbank uses this technology.

Future use of fingerprint scanner

All of the above methods of using human papillary scanners in the banking sector require an additional tool: card, phone, etc. However, quite recently, one American company has produced a new way of using such scanners in the banking system, which will make it possible to conduct financial settlements with just one fingerprint. It is enough for a bank client to register his fingerprint in the system once. If the client needs to pay in the future, for example, he will only have to touch the scanner for a purchased product, which will automatically transfer the money from his bank account to the seller’s account. This technology is still at the testing stage, but it has great potential, which means it is quite possible that if testing is successful.

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