Biometric On-Card Comparison System Uses Your Signature to Authenticate Transactions

Wednesday, March 13th 2013. | Miscellaneous

The convenience offered by credit cards doesn’t seem worth the risk of being fraud by some nasty guys. Your PIN can be stolen and before you know it, a huge amount of bill arrives at your doorstep waiting for you to pay it. In an attempt to double the security layers of credit cards, engineers from Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research are reportedly developing a new kind of credit card.

Biometric on-card comparison system

Based on the report, this credit card is said to have a memory of its own that can remember the biometric features of your signature. Every time you make a transaction, you’re required to write your signature on a touch pad which is sensitive to pressures. The written signature will then be compared with the one recorded on the card memory in terms of their biometric features. If the system finds lots of similarity, your purchase will be automatically authenticated. As for the PIN, it is only required if the transaction involves big amount of cash.

Theoretically, no one can exactly imitate another person’s signature. Although the look can be identical, the dynamic aspects of the faked signature will never be the same. This is what the German Biometric on-card comparison system is trying to take an advantage of. It can extract lots of information from your signature, store it on the chip, and use it later for quicker and more convenient authentication.

Unfortunately, its focal point can also be its Achilles heel. As I have told you, no two signatures are the same even if they are made by the same person. The system might refuse to authenticate the transaction no matter how you write your signature. Currently, the team is working on the algorithms used to overcome such an annoying problem. Until then, don’t expect it to spread out globally.

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