Westpac to look at fingerprint devices
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Westpac to look at fingerprint devices

The Advertiser | September 20 2005

BANK customers could soon be using special fingerprint devices to access their internet accounts in a bid to combat fraud.

The Westpac bank says it is considering a trial of the technology within the next 18 months to two years, with customers being issued "biometric" devices for their fingerprints to allow them to gain access to their accounts.

"We are only at the very early stages of having a look at that technology," Westpac head of media David Lording said.

"What we would be looking at down the track is a very small pilot.

"That is probably still at least 18 months to two years away, because there are no standards yet around biometrics."

Mr Lording said there were other hurdles which would have to be overcome before the trial could go ahead.

"We have to ensure that we are not imposing ourselves in terms of people's privacy," he said.

"We also have to bring the regulators along."

Mr Lording said it was too early at this stage to say how much the trial would cost.

He noted that the incidence of internet fraud was actually decreasing as customers became more careful, better anti-virus measures were becoming available and fewer people were falling for email hoaxes that requested their bank details.

He said the bank also was examining other security measures to combat fraud, but suggested the solution might have to be industry-wide.

"What we have been thinking about internally is some type of trust centre which would be developed across the banks," Mr Lording said

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