A large fingerprint on a circuit board

A Guide to MSI Fingerprint Technology: Where It’s Used

Today’s fingerprint readers are available in a range of options to fit various situations, budgets and intensity levels for secure, accurate user authentication. What you select depends on your application.

For mission-critical environments that can’t risk an identity misstep, biometric fingerprint readers featuring HID-patented Multispectral Imaging (MSI) technology offers the highest level of security and matching accuracy. The ability to capture difficult fingerprints in challenging environments, detect liveness with acute accuracy, and provide endpoint security is what sets MSI fingerprint readers apart in delivering reliable, secure matching over and over — especially for critical applications in commercial and government deployments.

Watch this video to learn about MSI technology and why it delivers top performance when compared to other fingerprint biometric technologies.  

Organizations and government agencies around the world rely on MSI-based fingerprint devices to authenticate users with high security and to ensure user identities are correctly authenticated. Here are a few real-world examples of how MSI fingerprint readers are used across many applications:

Banking ATM Security


MSI fingerprint technology is widely deployed in public-facing ATMs globally, with Brazilian banks leading the way. Over the past decade, more than 85 million bank customers across Brazil have enrolled in ATM security programs. The country relies on HID’s MSI fingerprint readers to authenticate users and conduct over 4 billion ATM transactions each year. This project was deployed so successfully — and customer acceptance was so high following implementation — that MSI readers were selected by all but one major bank across the country, making it the standard for convenient and secure customer authentication at ATMs in Brazil.

Healthcare Medical Dispensing

person holding medication

Biometrics have been used successfully in multiple healthcare applications, including medical dispensing where many different people have access to controlled medical substances such as opioids and narcotics. To prevent theft and to comply with regulatory requirements (HIPAA, JCO, DEA-compliant EPCS, FDA regulations and more), healthcare providers require accurate user authentication and an audit trail to confidently capture and record prescriber/clinician identity. HID’s MSI fingerprint readers meet this need and are vital in ensuring the correct medications are dispensed to the correct patients — reducing medical fraud and medical errors.

Border Security

Immigration sign

Top-notch biometric tools like MSI fingerprint readers help fortify borders and improve efficiencies not only for those who protect these distinctive lines, but also for the citizens and visitors moving back and forth across them. For example, HID’s MSI fingerprint readers are deployed to protect a major land border in the Asia-Pacific region, authenticating more than 650,000 people crossing those borders every day. MSI fingerprint devices provide best-in-class authentication accuracy and liveness detection that are essential to manage homelands, visitors and residents that cross those borders daily, improving the safety and security for all involved. 

Time and Attendance

dirty hands holding tools

In harsh indoor or outdoor environments such as factories, mining or construction sites, time and attendance terminals that clock employees in and out of work can get dusty, and often must endure rain, temperature variations and strong sunlight. Staff using these devices often have dirty, damaged or callused fingers. MSI fingerprint devices reliably confirm employee identities and ensure accurate time and attendance tracking to prevent “buddy punching” and to confirm work hours as claimed by employees. This saves companies significantly when it comes to preventing payroll fraud.

Government Benefits Distribution


The simple press of a finger is all that’s required to confirm identities and enable eligible residents and/or immigrants to collect their rightful government benefits and services. For example, HID MSI fingerprint readers are deployed at one of the largest banks in Argentina to authenticate the identities of over one million pensioners each month, ensuring they receive eligible benefits while preventing identity fraud.

Is MSI a Good Match for You?

There are many choices today when it comes to fingerprint biometric technologies and each option delivers various levels of capabilities — which hinge on whether the use cases are mission critical or a more casual situation. Prior to making a final fingerprint reader selection, review this checklist to ensure you select the appropriate reader for your needs.

Can this fingerprint biometric device:

  • Capture difficult fingerprints?
  • Detect fake fingerprints?
  • Provide endpoint security?
  • Withstand outdoor elements and chemical resistance (rugged, durable, long-lasting)?
  • Handle high throughput in high-traffic areas?
  • Support your specific compliance requirements?

More importantly, can you risk your brand reputation, financial losses and vital customer relationships from an identity misstep?

To learn more about MSI and how it suits your particular environment, read our recent white paper.

If you’re ready to make a secure investment by incorporating best-in-class MSI-based fingerprint readers into your workplace for fast, accurate authentication — let’s connect!