Fujitsu's Brazilian subsidiary this week said that the company is now testing a palm sensor with a major Latin American bank as a way to identify customers using ATMs.

The solution shines a beam of light though a person's palm, picking up the unique pattern of veins running through a person's hand.

The palm vein solution is already being tested internally at Banco Bradesco S.A. ("Bradesco"), the largest private bank in Latin America, with general operation scheduled to start soon.

PalmSecure was developed by Fujitsu as the world's first palm vein-based biometric authentication system.

The sensor captures the palm vein pattern of the user and compares it with pre-registered data to authenticate the user's identity. The sensor measures 35mm x 35mm and was designed not only for ATMs, but also for room access and other technologies.

The scanner makes use of a special characteristic of the reduced hemoglobin coursing through the palm veins — it absorbs near-infrared light, according to Fujitsu. This makes it possible to take a snapshot of what's beneath the outer skin.

The technology claims a false rejection rate of 0.01 percent and a false acceptance rate of less than 0.00008 percent, as of February, 2005.

The palm-vein system was originally announced by Fujitsu more than a year ago, and in 2005 the company said that it would attempt to take the technology worldwide.