The retail industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world with transactions worth millions of dollars taking place every day. The ease of paying by credit card has made it the preferred mode of payment over the years; however, certain unscrupulous elements in the society have made sure that credit card fraud worth billions of dollars takes place every year. According to data collected by the United States Government, every year the amount of credit card fraud runs to more than 50 billion dollars. This loss can be easily controlled by implementing a biometric based signature verification protocol that captures the behavioural as well as the physical aspects of signature and comparing it with pre-recorded data.
The current system of credit payment is based on a perfunctory signature verification biometric systems as the retail sector does not want to scare off potential customers by insisting on a stringent signature verification system. Generally the card payment practices leans towards giving the customers the benefit of the doubt as minor credit frauds are preferable to lost sales opportunities and an unhappy clientele. So, once the card is issued it is the card owner’s responsibility to see that his card is not misused.
To prevent frauds in the retail industry the issuing banks runs sophisticated programs that notifies the card user if unusual purchases are made. However, these algorithms are not foolproof as high value purchases in the interval leading up to the festival season have been known to throw it haywire. The credit card companies blocks the card when there is a hint of credit card fraud which leads to lost business for the retail industry and inconvenience for the customer.
Credit card transactions have been using signature verification for ages; however, the system continues to remain very weak. The sales clerk may or may not check the signature against the database. The signature is normally collected as a proof of the transaction: a copy is given to the customer and another is retained by the sales clerk if the card user raises any question about the sale having taken place in the past.
Many of the larger retail stores have taken steps to check instances of credit card fraud by installing electronic signature software that captures signatures. The Federal Trade Commission has commented that credit card frauds cost the customers more than 5 billion dollars in out of pocket expenses. In many cases the losses were limited because the credit card owner was alerted in time by the bank. The dynamic signature verification system based on proven technology captures behavioural components of a signature. This will not deter thief hell bent on perpetrating credit cards; however, by detecting abrupt changes in the signature it can reduce chances of credit card fraud.
The electronic signature pad uses a digitizer to capture essential data sets including position point’s velocity, acceleration and other dynamic features that can be compared against data taken at the time of enrolment. However, in order to get a proper set of data the signature recording device should by ergonomically designed to ensure proper data capture.