Full Project – Biometric authentication of an automated teller machine using fingerprint and password

Full Project – Biometric authentication of an automated teller machine using fingerprint and password

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The growth in electronic transactions has resulted in a greater demand for fast and accurate user identification and authentication. Access codes for buildings, banks accounts and computer systems often use personal identification numbers (PIN’s) for identification and security clearances. Conventional method of identification based on possession of ID cards or exclusive knowledge like a social security number or a password are not all together reliable. An embedded fingerprint biometric authentication scheme for automated teller machine (ATM) banking systems is proposed in this paper. In this scheme, a fingerprint biometric technique is fused with the ATM for person authentication to ameliorate the security level.




1.1       Background of the Study

In the olden days, financial institution in Nigeria did almost all their transactions manually, to allow customers perform their financial transactions and other banking processes. The customers have to form a queue which ends up consuming a lot of consumer’s time and is not always efficient. In view of this and the fast wind of IT sweeping through Nigeria, it had led the banking sector to the utilization of an electronic device known as Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) for performing transactions without the physical presence of a bank delegate. Automated Teller Machine is a mechanical device that has its roots embedded in the accounts and records of a banking institution. It is a machine that allows the bank customers to carry transfers, balance enquiries, mini statement, withdrawal and fast cash etc. The ATM has gained wide utilization due to the 24 hours service it provides to customers (Khatmonde et al., 2014).

Nearly 10 years since its introduction in Nigeria, the ATM has become the favored channel of financial transaction by most Nigerians. However, the expanding and wide acceptance of the ATM by the members of the public has led to a need to further build and enhance the security and integrity of the system. ATM transaction is initiated by inserting the ATM card and typing the PIN (personal identification number) of that specific card. Despite the fact that banks allow their customers to choose their PIN, this system is not safe to use because anybody can access the system if they have the card and the PIN number. The system looks at the code against a stored list of approved authorized passwords and users. If the code is genuine, the system permits access at the security level approved for the owner of the account. In recent time, due to fraudsters’ advancements and technological improvement it is now possible to fix ATM card scanners in ATM to acquire encoded information from ATM card which is again used to create a fraudulent transactions. This is the primary impediment of the current system. Conventional ATM systems authentication method has some limitations. Using ATM card and password cannot;

  1. Verify the client’s identity exactly.
  2. Protect the card user against theft.
  3. It is easy for fraudsters to get the PIN and perform fraudulent transactions.
  4. Protect customers from vulnerabilities and the increasing wave of criminal activities occurring at Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

This has called for a more secure method of authentication at the ATM terminals. Biometrics based authentication is a potential technique in increasing ATM security. Among all the biometrics, fingerprint based identification is one of the most mature and proven techniques. They are connected to an individual and cannot be forgotten, stolen, shared or easily hacked like passwords.

Fingerprint technology is the initial biometric science that uses unique features of the fingerprint to identify or verify the identity of an individual. Fingerprint technology is the most deployed technology among other biometric characteristics and its application ranges from physical access to logical access. Each and every human have unique characteristics and these lines are referred to as ridges while the spaces between these ridges are called valleys. These ridges and valleys are matched for verification and authorization. These unique fingerprint traits are referred to as “minutiae” and comparisons are made on these traits. The advantages that biometrics present are that the information is unique for each individual and that;

  1. It can identify the individual in spite of variations in the time.
  2. It provides strong authentication
  3. It can be easily implemented on existing system.
  4. There are no chances of two people having same fingerprint.

The proposed system will be self manipulated, simple, fast and yet much more secure. It will provide a secure online transaction to protect the user against ATM card frauds.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The existing system is plagued with the following problems;

  1. Traditional authentication systems could not distinguish between an imposter who fraudulently obtained the access privileges and the real owner.
  2. Passwords or PINs could be illicitly acquired by direct covert observation.
  3. Easily guessed PINs or passwords for example birthday, 1234 etc.
  4. Malware could be placed at the ATM terminal by fraudsters to capture magnetic stripe data and PIN codes from the private memory space of transaction processing application installed on the ATM.

1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study


The aim of this project is to design an ATM simulator that will combine PIN (personal identification number) verification system with fingerprint biometric system for more reliable authentication.


The system is designed with the following objectives:

  1. To explore the problem associated with the existing password based system and pose the possible solutions.
  2. To develop a payment system simulator with secure authentication using combination of biometric technology and password (PIN).
  3. To implement the system with various customer biometric and PIN data test and its functionality and robustness.

1.4       Significance of the Study

  1. The significance of this project is the huge benefits it is going to render to the bank management and the customer at large. For the bank management it will reduce the huge amount of cash lost to ATM fraud every year.
  2. By using fingerprint recognition combined with the old PIN method, there is the guarantee of quick, easy- to- utilize, precise, reliable, and less expensive authentication.

1.5       Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this project describes the simulation of an automated teller machine with the capability of the combination of both biometric (fingerprint) and password (PIN) based authentication with a view to providing a more secure banking transactions on ATM: only banking system is captured. The biometric authentication system will consist of five main components, these are: sensor, feature extractor, fingerprint/template database, and matcher and decision module.

Biometric ATM is useful for every aspect, but its limitations are given below:-

  1. It depends on user acceptability.
  2. Obtaining a clean image upon which to perform matching may be difficult due to fingerprint worn out or cut due to hard labor work or age or accident.
  3. The requirement of biometric devices in ATM will improve the cost of ATM.
  4. Due to the two step authentication process, the time it takes to perform a transaction will be increased.
  5. Distinctiveness: while a biometric trait is expected to vary significantly across individuals, there may be feature sets used to represent these traits.

1.6       Definition of Terms

Biometric: Biometric is the science and technology of measuring and statistically analyzing biological data

Simulation: Simulation is the imitation of the operation of real word process or system over time

ATM: Automated Teller Machine is an electronic banking outlet which allows customers of various banking institution complete basic transaction without the aid of a bank representative, teller or without being physically present at the bank.

PIN: Personal identification number: a secret numeric password shared between a user and the system that can authenticate the user to the system.

Authentication: This is the process of identifying an individual usually based on a username and password with the aim of granting access to a system.

Verification: Verification is the process of determining whether an individual is who he/she claims to be.

Debit: This refers to the money paid out of a customer’s bank account. It is an entry recorded on the left side of a ledger.

Credit: This refers to the money paid into a customer’s bank account. It is entry recorded on the right side of a ledger.

ATM card: ATM card is small plastic card designs with a magnetic strip or chip base, which can be assigned by banks to their customers to provide an authorized access to his/her account using an electronic card payment system. Each card contains some features like a card number which contains the bank code, the customer’s name and the expiry date. It contains some security features which are normally inculcated in the chip base or magnetic strip portion. The bank code uniquely identifies the bank within the consortium. The card number determines the account that the card can access as the card is being linked to the customer’s account.

Interface: This is a point where two system or subjects meet and interact or communicate. It can either be a GUI (Graphical User Interface) or a CLI (Command Line Interface).

Client: Client is any device or process that requests for service from a server.

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Full Project – Biometric authentication of an automated teller machine using fingerprint and password