Hughes Federal Credit Union wins national technology award for its biometric system

TUCSON, AZ (October 27, 2017) — Hughes Federal Credit Union has been presented with a national excellence award for outstanding approaches to technology. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Technology Council awarded Hughes for its entry entitled Using Biometrics to Build an Efficient Team and Better Member Experiences, describing how Hughes successfully piloted a palm authentication system to replace passwords.

“The award is recognition from peers for outstanding approaches to technology that have universal applications for all CUNA-member credit unions,” explained Rich Griesser, vice president of IT at Hughes. “There are common problems logging onto secure systems, such as forgotten passwords, password resets, insecure password storage; and most of all, loss of employee productivity due to these issues. To save employee time and increase member convenience and security, we agreed to pilot the Verifast Palm Authentication system. It works below the surface of the skin, reading the vascular signature of the palm, which is unique to each person and replaces the need for manually entering usernames and passwords.”

“It’s been a huge success so far,” Griesser notes. Hughes currently manages over 60 unique applications that implement the palm authentication system, from deposit and loan systems to online banking and credit card systems. “It’s fast, secure, and easy to use. Since implementing this technology, employees have saved hours of time previously spent logging into each application every time they need access and it’s saved numerous hours in help desk support for failed login attempts and password resets.”

Awards were presented at the CUNA Technology Council’s 22nd annual conference held October 1-4 in Phoenix, Arizona. CUNA is comprised of more than 890 credit unions across the United States. Voted on by a panel of CUNA Technology Council and Executive Committee members, the award winners displayed finesse in finding the right solutions to intricate technological/operational problems, identifying new approaches and recognizing their universal application to credit union members across the nation.

About Hughes Federal Credit Union

Established in 1952, Hughes Federal Credit Union is a local, full-service financial institution with over 177,900 members and $1.9 billion in assets. The credit union has also earned the prestigious 5-star rating from the nation's bank rating service BauerFinancial, Inc. Hughes is rated A+ and has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1974. For more information, please visit or follow Hughes at and

About CUNA Technology Council

CUNA Technology Council is a member-led organization of credit union technology professionals dedicated to sharing information with its members and promoting the advancement of credit union technology. The CUNA Technology Council is one of seven CUNA Councils, a network of more than 6,900 credit union professionals. For more information, visit

About CUNA Councils

CUNA Councils is a member-led organization dedicated to connecting passionate people, great ideas, original content and relevant resources to find solutions and inspire achievement through the power of peer collaboration. CUNA Councils serves seven areas of credit unions including CEOs, lending, marketing and business development, finance, human resources and training development, technology and operations, sales and service. For more information, visit


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