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Finger vein recognition is a process wherein a person's finger vein patterns are used as a basis for biometric authentication. Images are taken of one's finger vein patterns and then verified through pattern-recognition techniques. It has recently gained attention and favor owing to its high authentication accuracy, so much so that it has received wide acceptance as a security measure in banks. This process is largely considered to be safer than fingerprint recognition, as it cannot be replicated or fooled since the pattern is hidden from view.
Finger vein recognition is also known as vein matching or vascular technology.
The algorithm used for pattern matching varies from vendor to vendor. However, differences in apparatus do not affect the output since the basis for authentication — one's veins — remains relatively the same. Compared to commonly used biometric authentication methods, finger vein recognition has a higher security level because it is found inside the body and cannot be duplicated or removed. It also leaves no mark during the authentication process, as is the case with fingerprints, which can be lifted and duplicated. Fingerprints can easily be lifted using sticky tack/tape and directly placed on a scanner, and in a total breakdown of purpose, some types of scanners actually accept this as valid input. Finger vein recognition is also less dangerous compared to fingerprint and retina biometrics as veins do not register properly when there is no constant blood flow, meaning that a severed finger does register a proper vein pattern match, as opposed to some severed body parts, which can still be used for fingerprint or retina pattern recognition, as have been documented from various crime investigations involving biometric authentication.
The finger vein recognition process involves placing the finger inside an attester terminal that uses near-infrared light to highlight the veins and a monochrome charged-coupled device (CCD) camera to capture the image of the veins. The near-infrared light is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood, which makes the veins appear as a pattern of dark lines to the camera. An image is captured for use either as a database record in the case of biometric data capture or as a sample for comparison to an existing record during authentication.