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With the development of consumer electronics, the demand for simple, convenient, and high-security authentication systems for protecting private information stored in mobile devices has steadily increased. In consideration of emerging requirements for information protection, biometrics, which uses human physiological or behavioral features for personal identification, has been extensively studied as a solution to security issues. However, most existing biometric systems have high complexity in time or space or both, and are thus not suitable for mobile devices. In this paper, we propose a real-time embedded finger-vein recognition system for authentication on mobile devices. The system is implemented on a DSP platform and equipped with a novel finger-vein recognition algorithm. The proposed system takes only about 0.8 seconds to verify one input finger-vein sample and achieves an equal error rate (EER) of 0.07% on a database of 100 subjects. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed finger-vein recognition system is qualified for authentication on mobile devices.