Signature Capture and Biometric Validation


Signatures are still widely used in many business processes as a form of identification or to approve and accept legally binding documents. Conversely, due to the increase in identify theft, signature fraud is a growing issue that needs addressing. Spotting fraudulent signatures with the naked eye is difficult, time consuming and prone to error at the expense of the organisation. A biometric system is a great fail safe to these issues.

Earlier this year a handy bit of software was added into Anoto Live Forms that enabled users to validate captured signatures against a biometric analytics process

Despite significant security protocols, conventional biometric validation systems, such as an iris scan or fingerprints, may be hacked. Once hacked, the information may be used again and again because eyes and fingerprints do not change – they are static. By contrast, a signature, even if hacked, is not reusable since no-one can ever sign the same signature twice; signatures are bound to be different from one another. Outside of subtleties of handwriting, other reasons for change including the everyday user issues of name change through marriage, identify, or just keeping things fresh by adopting a new look to their personal mark.

The ‘SIGNificant’ solution handles these practicalities SIGNificant by creating a unique user profile for each user signature which is updates in real time on the server with the latest version. And in a complete name change scenario, the user can create an entirely new profile. Functionality is provided by a Austrian Company xyzmo – who created a platform that handles workflow associated with capturing signatures on glass, LCD, and other surfaces. The process is really simple, a user does not need to be aware their signature is being enrolled on the server. Once in place, subsequent signature submissions can be validated against the enrolment, providing a tolerance variable pass or fail.

  • Authenticates a signature against stored signature samples in real-time
  • With each authentication, the system continues to learn and fine-tune the signature samples
  • The system is able to track gradual shifts in the handwritten signature over time

We have tested the feature in a couple of POC’s, along with a Friday afternoon session where the Dev Team tried (without success) to forge each other’s signatures, and found the product works really nicely. While it has many obvious applications (such as retail finance based on-boarding, legal compliance, and secure sequence initiation processes), the method of capturing  a signature on any surface is a product of the growing Digital Transaction Management (DTM) market.

The DTM market is growing fast – Forrester Research indicates that this market will climb from it’s current level of adoption to record 700 million signature globally by 2017!

Now, as a sign that the digital market is continuing it’s consolidation phase, Namirial has recently announced that they have entered an agreement under which Namirial Gmbh, a fully owned subsidiary of Namirial SpA, will acquire all assets of xyzmo Software Gmbh and SIGNificant Signature Solutions Gmbh.

It is great to see intuitive, value adding products like SIGNificant being bundled with best in class solutions like Anoto Live Forms. It is even better when the broader market underwrites the funding of aggressive deployment of these products to the consumer solutions and enterprise market. Expect to see a lot more of this product in DTM applications as the European strategy for Namirial takes shape in 2016.


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CEO, co-founder and digital writing enthusiast!

One Response to “Signature Capture and Biometric Validation”

[…] a follow up to the recent post concerning the provision of the Biometric Signature Validation tool available in the Anoto Live Forms / Formidable Platform there has been increasing consumer […]

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