Bank of America Offers Fingerprint Access to Online Banking

Bank of America
Wednesday rolled out a new pilot program that uses fingerprint recognition
to give individuals access to their online banking services.

Before using the system, the bank stores a customer’s online banking login,
passcode and fingerprint on the chip attached to a multi-application smart
card. The customer then follows a customary login process to access banking
information over the Internet.

The biometric security authentication is completed when the customer places
a finger on a small scanning device attached to a personal computer. The
software matches the fingerprint image from the scanner against the image
already stored on the smart card’s chip.

Bette Wasserman, vice president and manager of smart card product
development for Bank of America, said the company believes biometric
technology will play an increasing role in security and authentication for
financial services.

“Biometric technology — coupled with smart cards — has the potential to
take security, convenience and versatility to another level for our
customers,” she said.

Bank of America first started testing smart cards more than four years ago
and has a special group that explores new ways to utilize the technology.
Out of that group has come the first multi-application smart card program
utilizing Visa Cash and non-finance features and the first PC program for
Visa Cash stored-value chip cards. The group has also deployed a variety of
smart-card programs for companies and public facilities across the country.

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