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Biometrics: The Next Step in ID Card Security

Biometric Technology in ID Cards

ID cards have become ubiquitous over the years. That’s because they’re a highly effective way to keep organizations, companies, and schools safe and secure. Along their journey into the mainstream, countless innovations have developed to enhance their security and increase their functionality. With the introduction of everything from barcodes to magnetic stripes, our ID badges have evolved from simple identification cards into multi-use credentials.

So what’s next in the evolution of ID card security? The answer is biometric technology.

While effective, existing ID card technologies do have some limitations. For example, a smart ID card may validate when swiped through a reader, but all that does is confirm that the card is valid and authentic. There’s no way to fully confirm if the person presenting the card is the ID card’s legitimate user.

ID card systems that utilize two-factor authentication like PINs and passwords seemed to address this issue for awhile. However, recent security breaches have demonstrated that the solution is sometimes vulnerable to social reverse engineering when it is not implemented correctly.

Secondary verification tools like flash drives and security tokens have shown promise, but some early adopters complain about the extra cost needed to purchase, program, and distribute them. Worse, they suffer from the same problem that plagues ID cards – the devices only verify that a person has possession of the device. They do not necessarily validate the person using the token.

Biometrics, on the other hand, anchors its verification on quantifiable characteristics of the cardholder, like fingerprints and iris scans, which effectively addresses the question of who is actually swiping the card. This makes biometric technology the logical choice for next-generation ID security.

While biometric technology shows promise, the issue of cost remains. Fortunately, the technology is gaining widespread adoption in many different industries including advertising, commerce, consumer technology, and law enforcement. As biometrics technology usage and application expands, the cost to integrate it is bound to go down. That means it could be a viable and cost-effective solution for making ID cards more secure and effective in the not-so-distant future.

In the meantime, you can supplement your existing ID solution with a standalone fingerprint reader with built-in smart card matching technology.


Call our ID experts at 1-800-667-1772 to find out how you can take advantage of biometric solutions to boost your ID card system's security. You can also send inquiries via e-mail.

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