Mastercard has unveiled a biometric card that combines chip technology with fingerprints to verify the cardholder’s identity at any EMV terminals worldwide.
The biometric technology first tested in South Africa market, with two separate trials recently concluded with Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket retailer, and Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Africa allows shoppers make payment securely and seamlessly.
“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” says Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security, Mastercard. “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”
A cardholder enrolls their card by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. When paying with the biometric card works like any other chip card, the cardholder simply dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated and the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.
Additionally, a future version of the card will feature contactless technology, adding to the simplicity and convenience at checkout.