Hitachi Eyes Big Sales for Finger Vein Recognition

TOKYO -- Hitachi Ltd. (6501.TO) said Monday it will target a combined revenue of Y45 billion from sales of its finger-vein-based biometrics systems for the three years through March 2008.

Such a move would be big jump in revenue for the company's finger vein biometrics business, which was below Y10 billion last fiscal year. The business currently handles mainly security systems used to enter computer systems and offices.

However, the Tokyo-based electronics conglomerate said that revenue from its finger vein biometrics systems, which is comprised of equipment, software and service sales, is expected to rise as Japanese banks are likely to launch automated teller machines using the system as early as this fiscal year ending March 2006.

"We are hoping that (such new) ATMs will spur demand" for Hitachi's finger vein biometrics systems, Tsutomu Tashiro, general manager at the security solution promoting division said at a press briefing.

As unauthorized cash withdrawals using fake ATM cards have become a social problem in Japan, the needs for more secure ATM systems has grown sharply here.

Identification systems using finger vein patterns, which differ from person to person, are regarded as more secure than those using other biometrical features such as fingerprints, voice and face.

Japanese banks including Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Bank of Kyoto have already released plans to use finger vein biometrics systems for their ATMs, according to Hitachi.