Western Union patents money transfer system using biometrics-based sender verification

A Western Union patent application that describes a system to manage recurring transfer notifications and secure payments for an electronic transfer network with biometrics-based sender verification has been published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The system, which Western Union says could apply to a cryptocurrency exchange network, involves verification through a voice sample, a fingerprint, or a retinal or iris scan conducted using a desktop or laptop computer or a mobile device. The company filed the patent in December 2016, and in it describes a secure transfer server generating customized notifications to request or initiate a recurring transfer, and the automatic detection of changes in transfer parameters to customize instances of recurring transfer notifications.

CCN reports that the patent does not mention XRP, a cryptocurrency touted as ideal for money transfer services. Western Union entered a partnership earlier this year with blockchain startup Ripple to trial XRP, but has not realized the hoped-for efficiency gains yet.

There are currently few major money transfer services secured with biometrics, though Jumio began providing biometric identity verification for money messaging app Plynk last year. The biometric banking market was recently predicted by Goode Intelligence to reach 1.9 billion customers worldwide by 2020, so widespread biometric deployment for money transfers may not be far off.

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