5 Ways Biometric Technology Impacts Our Everyday Life: A Statistical Representation

Impact of biometric technology in everyday life

Biometric technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives

Did you know that biometric identification management technology has been around since the 19th century when police began to use it to track criminals? The implementation of biometric technology is around us and expanding fast, quickly becoming a part of everyday life.

A number of biological characteristics such as fingerprints, finger and palm vein patterns, and iris and voice recognition have proven to be useful in the evolution of biometrics and biometric identification capabilities are now becoming standard on many devices we use each day.

Listed here are 5 ways biometric technology is impacting your everyday life:
Continue reading →

Why the Nigerian Biometric SIM Registration Project is an Example to Follow

Back in 2011, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) budgeted 6.1 billion Naira to conduct biometric registration on SIM (subscriber identification module) cards in six geopolitical zones of the country in addition to Lagos. The project dragged on for several months and ended with the NCC using a mobile operator biometric SIM card database. Under the new biometric SIM registration system, every Nigerian mobile phone user will now be required to provide their biometrics for authentication.

biometric sim registration

Photo: Unregistered phone subscriber

Background

The main reason behind deploying a biometric backed SIM registration system in Nigeria was to help law enforcement agencies improve the country’s security. The Authority considered that securing identities of all nationwide mobile network subscribers would help them combat fraud and criminal activity. The goal was to implement a solution that is secure, cost effective, widely accepted, and integrates with other identity databases in Nigeria.

Continue reading →

Using Biometrics to Streamline Membership Management Process

biometric membership management

Running an efficient and profitable membership-based organization is nearly impossible without the use of biometric technology.

Are you managing your members with a membership management software solution? Great! But what if I told you that it’s possible to manage your members more easily and efficiently? The secret is using biometrics to help you to streamline the time consuming identification processes. Sound cool?

Biometrics speed up member registration

Nobody likes to spend much time waiting around, especially while they are at their gym, fitness club, or at church, but that’s exactly what happens when you implement a member management software solution that relies solely on personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, or plastic ID cards for identification. Instead, implementing biometrics for member identification will reduce check-in and check-out waiting times by simply walking in and touching a biometric hardware device exemplified by this example of biometrics in use at a church in Florida:

Continue reading →

Why Integrate Biometrics with Membership Management Software?

Biometric-Membership-Management

Membership management based organizations are moving to biometrics for member identification due to its convenience, affordability, and security features.

If you operate a membership based organization such as a gym, church, or library, it is very difficult to make it profitable and efficient without utilizing modern technology. Manual membership management systems based on pen and paper or ID card systems have become outdated due to their maintenance costs and inefficiencies. On top of that, the possibility of security breaches has aided membership-based organizations to deploy safer and more effective alternatives – most notably the use of biometrics for identification with membership management software. Continue reading →

Finger Vein Biometrics Identification for Membership Management Software

University of Vermont is using M2SYS finger vein biometrics for student membership management

Finger vein biometric technology for membership management

An article published today in the University of Vermont’s campus newspaper The Vermont Cynic reported that the campus recreation center has adopted M2SYS finger vein technology for student member identification. Tim Lewis, associate director for campus recreation made the decision to use finger vein biometrics for member identification after brainstorming ideas on how to eliminate students carrying ID cards. Happy to see our finger vein biometric identification system used at the University of Vermont through a partnership we have with Vermont Systems, a recreation and parks software provider based in Essex Junction, VT.

Modern day membership management software is  designed to help create efficiencies that antiquated methods simply can’t provide. In an effort to eliminate ID cards, prevent identity fraud, and create a more convenient user experience, many membership management facilities are evaluating vascular biometrics (finger vein and palm vein) for identification because of the distinct advantages it offers. Specifically, using biometrics for member identification has proven to be the most effective and affordable solution for safe and secure management of sensitive information. Installation of a biometric member identification system is fast and easy, providing a convenient experience for members who no longer have to remember their ID Cards and a comforting feeling to recreation center staff who can feel confident that no unauthorized members are gaining access to the facility.

Although fingerprint biometrics is traditionally seen as the most common modality, many membership management facilities have discovered that vascular biometrics (finger vein and palm vein) are more effective in their environments for identifying members who may have skin integrity issues that would limit the effectiveness of fingerprint readers. The University of Vermont decided that finger vein biometrics, which uses near infrared light to map the vein pattern beneath a finger for identification was a preferred biometric modality for their end users. After a brief 2 – 3 minute enrollment period, on subsequent visits students can be identified in about 2 seconds.

Could finger vein or palm vein biometrics help your membership management facility to create efficiencies, save time and resources, and create a more convenient user experience? Please contact us for a price quote or membership management software provider reference.

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not Use Biometric Technology

Despite the numerous benefits that biometric technology brings to the table for the many vertical markets that it serves, there are some reasons to NOT use biometric identification technology.  May seem strange for a biometric software developer to be listing reasons to not use their technology, but bear with us as we explain some reasons that biometrics just may not be the technology that can help your business.

 

Reason #1 – You do not understand how biometric technology works.

We will be the first to tell you that if you have not done your homework and proper due diligence on how biometric technology works and which software and hardware application is best suited for your business then it probably is not a good idea to use it.  As with any investment in technology, businesses should spend time researching options, asking questions, reading case studies, engaging with others that currently use the technology, and evaluating long term return on investment (ROI) potential.

After completing adequate research, you may find that biometrics is not best suited for your needs.  However most businesses discover that when weighed against the alternatives, biometrics is usually the most efficient and secure identification technology that offers the highest potential for maximum ROI.

Reason #2 – You think that biometric technology is a passing fad that will soon be replaced with yet another more technologically advanced identification.

The simple truth is that biometric identification technology is here to stay and will be around for a long time to come.  Whether it’s for time and attendance/workforce management, healthcare, banking, membership management, public safety or point of sale biometrics has continued to spread throughout many vertical markets and is increasingly recognized for the many benefits that it brings to businesses and governments that use it.  Furthermore, the global biometric market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23% through 2013.

Biometrics is the only identification technology that can verify with near absolute certainty the identity of an individual.  As word spreads of the tangible benefits that biometrics offers and the truth about how the technology works becomes more understood, expect to see more deployments for businesses that wish to invest in a technology that establishes the efficiencies that they expect.

Reason #3 – You like losing 2 – 4% of your payroll each year to payroll error rates and time theft.

Employee time theft costs U.S. employers hundreds of billions of dollars per year and among the most egregious of time theft practices is buddy punching.  Buddy punching is a preventable facet of time theft and biometric technology is the perfect solution, eliminating the ability of employees to clock in and out for a colleague and significantly increasing productivity as a result.  Plus, biometrics is more secure and efficient than ID cards or personal identification numbers (PINs), helps to save the environment and ensures compliance with labor tracking laws.

Reason #4 – Security and safety of your employees is of no concern.

One of the major problems that barcode ID cards and PINs present is that they can be swapped, shared or stolen.  For example, barcode cards can be stolen and used for unauthorized access to secure areas of a business, jeopardizing the safety of other employees and acting as a catalyst for theft of merchandise, information or other assets.  Biometrics relies on human physiological characteristics for identification which can’t be swapped, shared or stolen creating a more safe and secure environment for you and for your employees.

Reason #5 – You don’t really care if anyone is held accountable for anything at anytime.

Of the many benefits that biometric identification technology offers its end users, establishing accountability is perhaps one of the top reasons to use it.  If the identification system you are using is archaic, subject to malfeasance and corrupting your staff by tempting them to abuse it for their own gain then why not consider incorporating a system that removes these inadequacies?  Biometric technology also ensures that there is a clear audit trail, thereby encouraging responsibility from your employees to act ethically and be accountable for their actions.

Take time to think about some of the problems in your business that biometric technology can solve.  Hopefully this post brought a few reasons to mind on how biometrics can help you.

What are some other reasons that biometrics would not be a benefit to your business?  Be creative…

 

What Can The Itsy Bitsy Spider Teach Us About Biometrics?


The Nursery Rhyme and its Application to Biometrics

Most of us are probably familiar with the popular nursery rhyme “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  It goes like this:

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Up came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Wow.  That is one resilient spider and it got us thinking…this spider reminds us a lot of biometric technology.

As biometrics for identification has evolved from forensics into government and enterprise applications, there have been growing pains along the way.  Fingerprint technology was the first “spider” modality to hit the mainstream and as it climbed the biometric “water (aka market) spout” end users realized that it had certain limitations.  For example, environmental conditions and fingerprint integrity limited its ability to identify a certain percentage of the population and as a result, end users began to seek a biometric modality that would identify 100% of their demographic.  The “rain” of dirt, grease, grime, cuts, scrapes, scars, age, ethnicity and other conditions washed out the fingerprint spider as not a one-size-fits-all solution.  However, it still had plenty of applicability and started to re-climb the biometric market spout.

Out came the vascular “sun” and dried up all of the issues that plagued fingerprint technology to allow the finger vein and palm vein spiders (albeit different spiders, but biometric spiders nonetheless) to start climbing the biometric market spout alongside the fingerprint spider.  Thus far, the weather has been quite sunny and there is no rain in the forecast to fall and wash the vascular spiders to the ground.  Vascular biometrics is enjoying a surge in end user adoption demonstrating a high tolerance for skin surface problems such as dryness, roughness, moisture or scarring.

Note – There are other biometric spiders currently crawling up the water spout such as iris, retina, voice, hand geometry and facial recognition, but they have not quite been as widely accepted for commercial adoption.

Biometrics and Resiliency

Just like the itsy bitsy spider, biometrics has proven to be very resilient.  As biometric performance and technology adapts to market conditions through refinements, enhancements and modifications it continues to demonstrate diverse applicability and post significant returns on investment.  From workforce management, healthcare, retail point of sale, public safety, and membership management, biometrics continues to grow and the forecast is a continued ascent through many global government and commercial applications.

Let’s rewrite one of our favorite nursery rhymes for the biometric industry:

The itsy bitsy biometric spider went up the market spout.
Down came conditions, and washed the spider out.
Up came refinements, to solve the problems,
and the itsy bitsy biometric spider went up the market spout again.

Can you think of a nursery rhyme and its theme that could also apply to biometrics?  Please share it with us in the comments below.

 

Why Vascular Biometrics Is A Good Fit For Membership Management

When You Think About Biometrics, You Think Fingerprint

For those who are familiar with biometric technology, the first picture that probably pops into your head is a fingerprint scanner.  This makes sense as fingerprint technology is the most widely recognizable and the most frequently deployed biometric modality in the industry.  Fingerprint biometric technology is a solid technology but not a one-size-fits-all biometric solution and its effectiveness is impacted by fingerprint integrity which can be compromised under certain conditions (e.g. – dirt, grime, grease, cuts, scrapes scars) environments (e.g. – temperature) and age groups (especially older demographics).  In fact, we recently wrote about questions to ask before you choose the appropriate biometric system which you can review again.

In addition, within the biometric industry it is often discussed that there is a small percentage of the population which simply have unreadable fingerprints, rendering fingerprint biometric technology ineffectual.  There are also certain vertical markets that have higher exposure to adverse conditions that render fingerprint biometrics more difficult to use effectively.  Considering the limitations of fingerprint biometric technology, especially in the environments we described above, businesses within these vertical markets that recognize the value of biometric technology may want to consider deploying vascular biometrics instead.

Vascular Biometrics Works Well In Membership Management

Membership management is a perfect example of a vertical market that can directly benefit from vascular biometric technology.  If you recall, vascular biometrics does not rely on fingerprints for identification purposes.  Rather, it relies on capturing an image of the vein pattern beneath the finger or skin and using that image as the basis for individual identification.  Unlike fingerprint technology, the integrity of the skin is not an issue with vascular biometrics.  By using near infrared light to capture a finger vein or palm vein pattern beneath the skin surface to identify an individual, vascular biometrics bypasses the need to have quality fingerprints in order to successfully use a biometric identification system for 100% of your population and allows end users to use biometrics in environments that otherwise are not conducive to fingerprint technology.

Here are some advantages of using vascular biometric technology vs. fingerprint:

  1. Due to the wide age demographic that membership management serves, vascular biometrics is a reliable technology that can identify near 100% of clientele which keeps the check-in process flowing.
  2. Fingerprint integrity is no longer an issue so vascular biometrics eliminates sensitivity to members who may work in professions where their fingerprints could be compromised.
  3. Members tend to be more apprehensive about offering their fingerprints as a means of identification due to the perception that it can be stolen or compromised and used to steal their identity.  Since most membership organizations that choose to use biometric technology for identification offer it as a voluntary service, members tend to be more likely to opt-in to finger vein technology which is perceived as being more acceptable.
  4. Member ID cards are no longer needed saving the expense of producing and replacing the cards which can be quite costly.

Recently, Montgomery County Maryland Recreation Centers began using M2SYS’ hybrid biometric platform technology with finger vein readers for their member check-in.  Here is a short video clip of the implementation followed by member and staff reaction:

Why Biometrics Is A Great Solution For Club And Membership Management

Membership Management Issues

If you own or operate a club or membership facility then chances are you may face some of the same member management issues and problems that your peers and other competitors in the industry deal with on a daily basis.  Inefficiencies in the bar code swipe or RFID check-in technology that cause delays, inability to stop fraud or “privilege sharing” and no clear cut path to eliminate the waste and expense that is associated with the manufacturing and maintenance of your plastic membership cards are all common themes that consistently plague member driven facilities, sap profits and impede productivity.  Furthermore, the threat of security breaches to sensitive member information has left many member-driven organizations searching for a safe and effective way to manage their databases.  The truth is, running an efficient and profitable membership-based organization is virtually impossible without the use of advanced technology.

Continue reading →