Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union embrace biometrics
03 September 2019 16:48 GMT

Fiserv, a global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union is enhancing convenience and security for members and staff with biometric technology from Fiserv.

The credit union is utilizing a suite of palm vein authentication solutions and is among the first financial institutions in the country to adopt biometric technology to this extent.

Merck Sharp & Dohme utilizes three Verifast biometric authentication solutions from Fiserv, including Verifast Branch for member authentication, and Verifast SSO to authenticate its employees across its internal computer systems. It is also the first institution to implement Verifast Access, a system of building-wide, stationary palm scanning devices that replaces traditional building access fobs and keycards with convenient, highly secure biometric technology.

“Many of our members have spent their careers in STEM fields, and have a natural appreciation for technology,” said Dave Whitehead, CEO, Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU. “Verifast delivers a rare combination of speed and security that facilitates an excellent experience for our members and employees. I use Verifast daily – it’s simple, it’s smart, and we’re proud to be an industry leader in biometrics thanks to what we’ve built with Fiserv.”

Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU serves nearly 30,000 employees and contractors of Merck & Company Inc. in addition to several other chartered segments and is one of the largest credit unions in Pennsylvania.

“Building access is a big-ticket item in facilities management,” said Dave Shannen, facility manager, Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU. “The introduction of Verifast Access has been transformational for my workflow and for our staff. We don’t have to manage lost or temporary fobs and can easily facilitate differing levels and terms of access for staff and visitors alike. There is nothing to remember or bring because your palm is always with you.”

According to Expectations & Experiences, the quarterly consumer survey from Fiserv, nearly 60 percent of consumers are interested in biometrics being used to replace passwords and PINs, up 10 percent from two years ago.

“Any change at the credit union requires careful planning and time,” said Pat Kreidler, vice president of operations, Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU. “Our marketing team has promoted Verifast with contests, signage and outreach since the start – our members and frontline staff have really embraced it. In particular, the retired professionals that frequent our branches have quickly adopted the technology and appreciate the convenience and speed. That enthusiasm has dovetailed into our internal uses of the technology, including building access.”

The palm readers utilized by Verifast, which can be embedded in on-counter palm scanners, computer mice and wall-mounted terminals, use light to capture a user's unique palm vein pattern. This pattern is then matched against a database that synchronizes with the financial institution’s core processing and other systems for secure login or access.

“Like the employees at Merck Sharp & Dohme, I use Verifast at my desk daily,” said Vincent Brennan, president, Credit Union Solutions, Fiserv. “It makes a routine but essential task like authentication easier, and enables interactions that can set a credit union apart. Merck Sharp & Dohme is a pioneer in realizing the potential of this technology, and we anticipate that many credit unions will adopt organization-spanning biometric solutions over the next several years due to their appealing ability to enhance both security and the user experience.”

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