Iris ID Biometric System Selected by Merrion Vaults

Ireland-based facilities use iris recognition for identity authentication and security

Merrion Vaults, an Ireland-based provider of safe deposit boxes, has selected biometric identity verification technology from Iris ID. Merrion Vaults rents safe deposit boxes like those found at banks, but with a significant difference, customers’ identities are authenticated through highly accurate iris readers to enhance security.

Merrion Vaults operates private safe deposit boxes in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland; Nottingham, Liverpool and Newcastle, England; and Dublin, Ireland. Seamus Fahy, director, Merrion Vaults, said the iris readers are replacing fingerprint recognition systems for authenticating customer identity.

Fahy said the choice of contactless iris readers was well timed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The initial customer reaction to the Iris ID readers has been excellent; the customers love it,” he said. “It is a simple, easy process for them to swipe an access card and then look into the reader with nothing to touch. The entire process takes a few seconds to complete. Using the fingerprint reader, customers would forget which finger they registered with or would press too hard or too lightly on the reader. If they couldn’t get access, we’d have to check their names and passwords and then re-register them. It was a hassle.”

Fahy said the Iris ID readers are part of a tight security plan that includes video surveillance, access control, turnstiles, intrusion alarms and panic buttons, as well as seismic and water sensors. Employees monitor cameras at each facility and in a systemwide control room in Dublin.

Mohammed Murad, vice president, Iris ID, said the iris recognition system allows rapid and highly accurate authentication of Merrion Vaults customers due to each person’s unique iris patterns.

“The accuracy, speed and convenience of the Iris ID system are critical for a business that identifies its customers using biometrics,” Murad said. “Our system also provides another critical layer of security, ensuring only Merrion customers gain access to the vault. No two people, including identical twins, have the same iris patterns.”

The Iris iCAM7S system readers provide a mirror interface with color-alignment indicators guiding customers through the authentication process, while capturing iris images at distances of up to 15 inches.

Fahy said many banks in the U.K. are discontinuing safe deposit box service, creating an opportunity for private vendors to fill the gap. He said Merrion Vaults plans to open new facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Reading and Bristol, England and Barcelona, Spain in 2021. Longer-term plans include locations in cities across the United States.

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