A signature-based security approach is only effective if a cashier actually double checks what's scrawled across the back of a credit card. And even then, there's still plenty of opportunity for fraud since minimum wage clerks usually aren't capable of spotting a forged signature—but one day your credit card might be.
Using biometrics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD has developed a new security approach that could make it downright impossible for someone else to forge your John Hancock. When a new card is issued—whether from a bank or credit card company—the cardholder would be required to register their signature using a pen-based touchpad. Everything from the speed at which they write, to the pressure they use, to every last little nuance of their penmanship is documented and stored on the card.
The same thing would happen when they signed for a purchase using another touchpad, but in that instance it would be compared against the signature data stored on the card for authenticity. And unless you've been unfortunate enough to have a master forger steal your wallet, odds are the system would be quite effective at preventing someone else from signing your name. [Fraunhofer via Gizmag]