Barclays has launched a new personal finger scanner for easy and secure authentication in personal banking.
The UK bank has teamed up with Hitachi to launch the Barclays Biometric Reader, which uses the Japanese company's gruesome-sounding "finger vein authentication technology," or VeinID for short, to scan your finger's unique properties.
Unlike current technologies, VeinID scans the unique vein patterns in the finger, which is a lot harder to replicate than a fingerprint. Barclays also makes the claim that "the scanned finger must be attached to a live human body in order for the veins in the finger to be authenticated," which is making us feel a bit light-headed.
It should mean the end of passwords, PINs, and those excruciating authentication processes - at least when accessing your Barclays account through your computer.
This technology is already being used by banks and cash machines in Japan and North America, and parts of Europe, apparently. Now it's also coming to a business near you.
Barclays is rolling out this technology to its corporate customers first, and even then it won't be available until 2015. Hopefully a roll-out to individual Barclays customers won't be far behind.
Of course, Apple could well provide the first viable mass-market fingerprint-authenticated payment system when it launches the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 on September 9. Its existing TouchID system should combine with NFC and a new payment system to make such biometric-based mobile payments a reality.