Fingerprint verification for smart card holders is one of the methods which are able to identify smart card holders with a high level of security. However, an ingenious implementation is needed to execute it in the embedded processor quickly and safely, because of its computational burden and the limitation of the smart card performance. For this purpose, we propose a hybrid method which is a combination of personal identification number (PIN) verification with a smart card and an optical fingerprint verification method. The result of a preliminary computer simulation to evaluate the proposed system shows that false acceptance rate is completely zero, though false rejection rate is a little inferior to the conventional figerprint verification system.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.