Anyone who watches CSI knows that a person’s handwriting is as unique as their fingerprint. Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) is taking this premise and applying it to credit cards to help protect against fraud. Using a biometric identifiers of the owner’s signature, the IGD has created a credit card that will compare the sample when at the till, to determine that it is an authentic signature by the proper user.
Embedded in everyone’s signature are certain tells or echoes that indicate information about the signature – its biometric trace. Pressure variance, whether there was hesitation during writing and shakes of the hand can all be read by how the signature is written. The IGD credit card will have a chip that stores the biometric information of the owner’s signature, which is given when they receive the credit card. When a person signs their name on the digital pad at the cash register, the signature will be compared to the sample on the chip. Should there be too many differences in the signature traits, it will be denied authorization.
The signature verification adds a level of security to using credit cards, but should it come into use the problem of false negatives would have to be addressed, especially when signing on electronic pads is particularly fiddly and rarely do electronic signatures look the same as handwritten ones.