LP Magazine

JUL-AUG 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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and now the technology is gaining tremendous traction in retail. Biometrics are very compatible with most retail technology systems and have an attractive ROI, thus contributing easily to the bottom line. Further, biometrics have become a safe and proven technology, providing an easy win for organizations, especially important as these organizations are dealing with the risks and complexities of retooling their infrastructures for new models such as omnichannel. How Do Fingerprint Biometrics Work? Instead of using something you have (like a key) or something you know (like a password), fingerprint biometrics use the physical characteristics of your fingerprints to identify and authenticate you. There are two separate stages involved in using a fingerprint biometric system: ■ Enrollment. During enrollment, a person's fingerprint is scanned to identify their unique attributes, such as where ridges converge or separate. These unique attributes, called minutiae, are then stored in a mathematical abstraction called a template. Commercial fingerprint biometric systems don't store actual fingerprint images; rather, they only store a representative binary code. This code is used in the next step, verification. ■ Verification. In this step, a person's fingerprint is again scanned to extract the data points of their unique minutiae when they touch a fingerprint reader. These minutiae are then compared to those in the stored template. If they match, the person's identity is verified. The whole verification process takes just a few hundred milliseconds and delivers highly accurate matching results. The Solution It is well known that point-of-sale (POS) terminals have become a critical focal point for controlling retail businesses. The challenge is that these systems have also created more opportunities for employee theft. In fact, the systems themselves have become easy targets for theft and fraud since so many financial transactions flow through them, including payroll record keeping. While our industry has focused much on "after-the-theft" solutions by creating sophisticated exception reporting, video analytics, and more, many retailers have simply neglected preventing and eliminating the opportunities for theft in the first place. Why Should Retailers Consider Using Biometrics? Biometric technology is one of the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective ways that retailers can prevent theft at the POS. It has an incredible ROI, and results are seen quickly. Fingerprint authentication has become easier to implement because it interfaces seamlessly with almost every retail technology currently being used. If it doesn't immediately interface, it is relatively easy to make modifications so that it will. Biometric technology also: ■ Reduces Losses. It is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways BIOMETRICS: RETAIL'S BEST KEPT SECRET The biometric template: a binary representation of unique features Mapping unique biometric features Extracting unique biometric features Fingerprint scan 54 JULY–AUGUST 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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