Barclays’ new finger vein scanner is more secure – and convenient – for your online banking

Barclays Biometric Reader
(Image credit: Barclays)

Barclays has beefed up its biometric security with a next-gen finger vein scanner which benefits from Bluetooth support, meaning it can operate without needing to be hooked up to a PC of any kind – and there are more benefits besides.

The Barclays Biometric Reader (BBR) uses infrared to scan finger vein patterns unique to each individual, and the tech comes courtesy of Hitachi.

As mentioned, the reader boasts wireless connectivity in the form of Bluetooth, so you can manage your banking without having to actually connect the device to a computer.

It also benefits from an ‘activity screen’, a small display which provides written instructions detailing the activity being authorized, as an additional safeguard against any potential fraud (in case there’s been a compromise somewhere, and a malicious party is messing with the customer’s banking activity in any respect).

Not only that, but despite bolting on these extra bits of functionality, the new BBR is smaller than its predecessor, which is always handy.

Barclays Biometric Reader

(Image credit: Barclays)

You’re so vein...

Hitachi’s VeinID technology is recognized as one of the most secure forms of biometric authentication available today, Barclays notes, and vein scanning is more secure than fingerprint scanning.

Furthermore, in terms of the data involved, no public record of the user’s vein pattern is maintained – and neither does Barclays store the pattern on its own systems. Data security is obviously a paramount consideration here for the customers this device is aimed at.

Namely Corporate Banking and Business Banking clients, who Barclays will make the scanner available to from early 2020 with its Barclays.Net and iPortal systems. The latter is Barclays’ online banking hub which provides a single sign-in for all banking services, which the new BBR was designed to work seamlessly with.

All of which represents a good dollop of extra convenience in terms of that integration, and the fact that the biometric reader can operate independently of any computer.

Martin Runow, Head of Digital Banking at Barclays Corporate Banking, enthused: “We’re committed to combating fraud. The new and improved Barclays Biometric Reader is much more portable and even more secure. Our clients are increasingly mobile and the advances we’ve been able to introduce will allow them to securely manage their accounts wherever they are.

“This device aligns with our aim to redefine Digital Banking by putting client experience at the core of everything we do, making it easier for our corporate clients to run their business.”

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).