5 Reasons Why Palm Vein Scan is the Best Biometric
Dec 4, 2019
by Beau Karlskin
Palm vein scan is a powerful, relatively new biometric that uses the internal vein pattern of your palm to identify you. Similar to fingerprint, each person's palm vein pattern is unique and doesn't change.
However, this unique identification method has several key security and privacy advantages that traditional biometrics (such as fingerprint and facial recognition) don't offer.
How does a palm vein scanner work?
Palm vein scan is a biometric that works by using infrared light to map the unique vein structure of your palm, capturing over 5 million data points. The palm vein scanner then converts these data points into a unique encrypted code that becomes your biometric ID.
There is one key feature that makes palm vein recognition stand out from other biometrics. Unlike your fingerprint, iris, or face, your palm vein pattern is internal.
Because your palm vein pattern is concealed inside your hand, it is not exposed like other biometrics. This gives it several unique advantages that make it arguably the most advanced biometric on the market.
Palm vein scan is more secure than other biometrics because it's never exposed.
Think of biometrics like a password. But instead of using numbers to log in, you're using your own body.
You wouldn't share your passwords on social media for the entire world to see, would you? Yet, if a person uses facial recognition for authentication purposes, then their password — their face — is literally exposed everywhere they go.
This makes traditional biometrics vulnerable to being stolen and duplicated. And despite advances in technology that uses liveness tests to make sure the biometric being scanned is from a real person (and not a forged replica), this technology is not perfect and is still vulnerable to more sophisticated spoofing methods.
But with palm vein, since your biometric code is concealed inside your hand, it's very difficult for a thief to steal this pattern and create a replica with it.
Additionally, since palm vein captures actual blood flow, it has built-in liveness tests. Even if a thief somehow got a hold of your palm vein pattern, they wouldn't be able to fool a scanner without live blood flowing through the veins, making it immune to spoofing.
Since palm vein recognition is internal, it not only has significant security advantages, but privacy advantages as well.
Biometrics such as facial recognition have a critical flaw: your face is exposed everywhere you go, making it easy for face scanners to identify you from a distance without your consent.
Since palm vein is internal to the body, it can only be captured via a close-up, high-definition camera in combination with UV light. So unless you deliberately scan your hand on the palm vein device, it is very difficult for it to be captured.
This makes palm vein uniquely privacy-by-design.
This has several benefits for companies looking to implement palm vein in their organization:
Since it's privacy-focused, palm vein may be seen as more trustworthy by your customers and/or staff, making it easier for them to adopt.
Since consent is the number-one requirement in privacy regulations around the world, palm-vein's consent-based design makes it easier for you to gain compliance with these regulations and avoid legal issues.
Since the palm has a larger surface area than the finger or iris, for example, the palm vein scanner is able to capture a larger number of data points. This gives it an accuracy advantage compared to other biometrics.
Keyo's palm vein scanner captures over 5 million data points in the palm, giving it unparalleled accuracy. Because of this, palm vein has the lowest false acceptance rate (FAR) and false rejection rate (FRR) than any other biometric.
The extremely low False Rejection Rate of palm vein makes it extremely unlikely for it to incorrectly deny access to authorized users (or worse — to allow access to unauthorized users), so it will always work when you need it to.
Other biometrics such as facial recognition, for example, are generally far less accurate (2.6% False Rejection Rate for facial recognition vs 0.01% for palm vein — making palm vein 260 times more accurate).
Each person's palm vein pattern remains relatively stable throughout life, so the chance that a registered user will have to re-enroll in the future is very low.
Certain other biometrics are more susceptible to change over time. Fingerprint, for example, is vulnerable to wear and damage due to being exposed.
Cuts and abrasions on the finger make it possible for an authorized user to be unrecognized by fingerprint scanners and incorrectly denied access.
With palm vein, however, the chance of damage to the palm's vein structure is generally lower, making it more stable over time.
Additionally, the palm vein scanner is resistant to dirt, dust, dryness, and moisture, making it functional in a variety of different environments.
This means that when you scan your palm, you can be sure it will work every time — making palm vein a very reliable biometric.
Palm vein is contactless, meaning that you don't have to touch the sensor to scan your palm. To identify yourself, simply hover your hand over the scanner — no touch required.
This makes it much more hygienic than biometrics that require you to touch the scanner, such as fingerprint.
This is particularly relevant for biometric devices that are shared among a large number of people, such as those that are used by employees or customers.
Additionally, the importance of contactless biometrics is even more important in industries where strict sanitation requirements are essential, such as hospitals and food manufacturing facilities.
What Can Palm Vein Biometrics Be Used For?
Palm vein scan can be used for a large variety of applications across many industries. For example, at Keyo, we offer a cloud-based platform that has built-in capabilities for: