Mastercard introduces credit card with fingerprint sensor

Users can store up to two fingerprints on the card’s EMV chip. PHOTO: MASTERCARD

Biometric verification is gradually replacing PINs and passwords. From smartphones to safes, everything now has biometric security features, so it makes perfect sense for banks and financial institutions to look at fingerprint sensors to protect credit and debit cards.

Mastercard on Thursday unveiled the next generation biometric card with fingerprint sensors. The move is aimed at making verification of the cardholder more convenient and secure. It uses the same fingerprint-scanning technology that is used for mobile payments.

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Cardholders can enrol their cards by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, the fingerprints are converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. Users can store up to two fingerprints on the card’s EMV chip.

In order to use the card, all you need to do is to put it in the card reader and put your thumb on the embedded sensor to verify your identity.

The cards still work with EMV readers — the standard chip/swipe readers you can find at most stores these days. So signing up for a fingerprint card won’t put you at any disadvantage.

“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,” said Mastercard president for enterprise risk and security Ajay Bhalla.

Mastercard is currently testing the biometric cards in South Africa hopes to roll them out to the rest of the world by the end of 2017.

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