Barclays is looking beyond the PIN code, launching a scanner that confirms a user's identity by reading the blood in their fingers.
The scanner has been developed with Hitachi Europe, in what Barclays is claiming as a first for UK banking and a major step forward in combating fraud.
The idea is to give users a safer, faster way to log into their online bank accounts. Rather than entering multiple pins and passwords, users hook up the reader to their PC via the USB port and scan the unique vein patterns in one of their fingers.
The technology is different from standard fingerprint scanning and, according to Barclays, safer.
The bank said: "Unlike finger prints, vein patterns are extremely difficult to spoof or replicate. The scanned finger must be attached to a live human body in order for the veins in the finger to be authenticated. Barclays will not hold the user’s vein pattern and there will be no public record of it."
The service will be available from next year, but only to corporate banking customers, for a fee.
Ashok Vaswani, Barclays chief executive of personal and corporate banking, said: "We have shown the technology to a range of businesses and the interest and enthusiasm for the product is tremendous. The technology has also been tested by Hitachi for many years and it will be game-changing for UK businesses and consumers.
"Ultimately, I hope this will pave the way for other institutions to adopt equally robust technology in the fight against online crime."
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