An Australian company is giving the finger to other security systems.
Fingerscan has developed a product by the same name called Fingerscan, which will record a three-dimensional image of a person's finger on a smart bankcard and compare it to the image it reads from the person taking out money with the card at an automatic teller machine.
The image is stored as a template in ASCII code and all future scans are compared against it. It is a detailed record of everything about the finger at the time it was scanned, including shadows thrown by ridges and valleys on the fingerprint and blood pressure.
Because of this, cutting off someone's finger and stealing their bankcard to get money is not going to work, which apparently answers the most common question put by Fingerscan's customers.
Fingerscan has been in Australia and Asia for several years, but caught European attention when it was exhibited recently at the CeBit expo in Hannover.
"Within the next two years there will be a proliferation of biometrically linked smart cards. It's one of the few ways to ensure a high level of security for smart cards and electronic funds transfer," says a Fingerscan spokesman.
The readers can be attached to a computer network as a peripheral and used to verify users logging on to a LAN or to the Internet.