Each day nearly 27 million people use ATMs for financial transactions. Until now, the strongest measure of security was a four digit PIN number — easily forgotten or stolen. Securing billions of ATM transactions is no longer a “Mission Impossible.” ATMs around the world are getting ready to be secured with a state-of-the-art iris identification system. Right now, the first working prototype of this futuristic technology for personal electronic identification is being demonstrated at Sensar’s world headquarters in Moorestown, NJ.
Customers of Nationwide Building Society, the U.K.’s largest savings and loan, are already using Sensar Secure iris identification ATMs. The Sensar system was also used in the 1998 Nagano Olympics to ensure that high-powered rifles were kept in the hands of athletes and out of terrorists’ reach.
Sensar Secure ATMs are being installed in banks around the world and will be at banks in major cities around the U.S. very soon.
This fraud-proof identification system is more accurate than DNA testing and identifies customers in less than two seconds. The Sensar system first takes a quick picture of your eye, using standard, everyday video cameras. Then it focuses in on the iris (the colored part) and maps it. More than 250 points of information are immediately translated into a digital bar code. That bar code is then safely tucked away and stored on file with the bank. (All this technology is illustrated on giant TV monitor screens at Sensar’s “bank of the future.”)
With most financial service providers moving from cash to electronic transactions as a payment form, the need for a more secure, fraud-resistant, yet still user-friendly means of personal identification is critical, particularly at ATM locations where more than 10 billion transactions were processed in the U.S. last year alone. The eye is the most data rich part of the body, making iris identification more accurate than any other personal electronic identification system available today.
The newly built Sensar-secure “bank of the future” prototype, located at Sensar’s headquarters in Moorestown, NJ, features an enrollment station, teller platform and two functioning ATMs.
Sensar predicts that within five years consumers will be able to use the system to check on stocks and bonds, cash checks, wire money, buy tickets to upcoming concerts, and even apply for large loans right at the ATM, 24 hours a day, because the bank will positively know the customer’s identity.
Sensar has a multi-million dollar development, distribution and supply agreement with Citicorp for direct marketing of its products into the financial services area. The company also continues to explore cooperative marketing agreements with numerous ATM manufacturers worldwide, and has already formed strategic partnerships with NCR, Citicorp, OKI Electric of Tokyo and LG Electronics of Korea.
NCR, OKI, LG, and several other financial giants are currently testing pre-production versions of Sensar’s Iris Identification system.
According to Rob VanNaarden, Vice President of Sensar, limitations on transactions at ATMs and concerns about their security have plagued the financial services industry for years. Until now, however, no solution was available that combined high accuracy and reliability with the ultimate in user friendliness.
“Sensar’s technology will enable banks to offer a broader range of high-value ATM services, thus improving customer services at the ATM and generating increased profit opportunities for financial institutions,” VanNaarden said. “In addition, Sensar’s iris identification system delivers a powerful personal identification tool that enhances the security of ATM customers while increasing user friendliness by eliminating the need for remembering PIN numbers and, soon, even cards.”
Founded in 1993, Sensar was formed as a spin-off of the Sarnoff Corporation, formerly RCA Laboratories, an internationally acclaimed advanced technology research and development organization. Many of the world’s most important breakthroughs in electronics during the past 50 years have been pioneered at Sarnoff, including color television and the liquid crystal display. Sensar holds the exclusive licensing rights to computer-vision technology developed at Sarnoff for use on a worldwide basis that is being incorporated into the company’s iris identification system.
IriScan, Inc. of Mt. Laurel, NJ, holds the exclusive worldwide patents on the Iris Identification concept developed by Drs. Leonard Flom and Aran Safir and the software and process technology invented by Dr. John Daugman, Cambridge University, England. Sensar uses, under license, the Iris Identification process developed and owned exclusively by IriScan. IRISCAN is a trademark of IriScan, Inc. of Mt. Laurel, NJ, and is used by Sensar under license from IriScan, Inc.Details