Former SAS officer backs new ID system

(l-r) Roberto Fiorentino and Sebastian Morley
(l-r) Roberto Fiorentino and Sebastian Morley

Finger vein technology is set to revolutionise security in UK.

Finger vein authentication is set to take over from finger prints as the identification process of choice in the UK.

More accurate than finger prints and easier and cheaper to install than iris scanning, biometric finger vein technology has already proven to be a huge success in the country's prison service and other Government establishments.

Japan is leading the world with the introduction of biometric technology for the authentication of banking transactions. In France, Hitachi, one of the market leaders in finger vein technology has secured accreditation from the French Data Protection Authority.

This revolutionary process, built on Hitachi technology, is now being marketed under the ‘FastVein’ brand for the first time to the private sector in the UK by CSS Group. This follows the formation of a strategic alliance with Photobase Ltd., which is part of the Croma Group run by Sebastian Morley, a former SAS officer.

Morley said: "The Croma Group is the only high-end boutique total security provider in the UK and it is vital that we lead the market with finger vein technology. Quite simply, it is the most robust, sophisticated and reliable biometric technology around. So far our success has been primarily in the public sector and our agreement with CSS Group means that we can now develop the huge commercial appeal of this technology.”

Testimonials from HM Prisons where the technology, embedded in Photobase's ID-Pro for HMPS (Prisoner Identity Management System), is already being used are proving to be very impressive.

Southampton based CSS Group, which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary in the sector, has developed an infrastructure to both market and install finger vein technology. Morley said: "CSS has the perfect credentials to partner with us – as a leader in its field, the company’s experience is unrivalled and its levels of service will ensure total customer satisfaction."

Managing Director Roberto Fiorentino said: "We are ready to deliver to the commercial world and business leaders will be staggered by the speed and accuracy of the FastVein system, together with its ease of integration into existing access control or HR systems - not to mention value for money. Right now we're getting real interest from blue chip organisations where security is essential - airports and ports being favourites to be early adopters.

"For local and central governments; financial institutions; and industry and commerce the applications are huge. For instance, any business where workers clock on and off using the traditional card system, finger vein technology could improve absenteeism and efficiency at a stroke. It can also be used to manage contractors' identities, access to large construction sites and monitor workers’ access to restricted areas. Internet authentication is another obvious application."

Ravi Ahluwalia from Hitachi Europe commented: “We are delighted to be working with such an experienced company within the security industry. We believe our highly secure biometric authentication will enable businesses to embrace the registration and access process with confidence.”

The Hitachi scanner, which requires no physical contact, captures what is described as a biometric template. The system works by transmission of near infra-red light into the finger from LED's inside the scanner. Light penetrates the finger and is absorbed by the haemoglobin creating an image for capture. The image is processed to create a finger vein pattern that is digitised, compressed, encrypted and stored as template data.

The benefits of the system include: the finger vein pattern inside the finger cannot be acquired easily without consent; processing time is very fast, around 0.5 seconds to acquire, process and validate and there is no link to criminality as in the case of finger-print systems.

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