Mastercard has revealed a credit card with a built-in biometric fingerprint scanner.
With this technology, customers will be able to authorize payments with their fingerprints, instead of being required to provide a PIN or signature.
The company says that when cardholders register with their financial institutions, their fingerprints will be converted into an encrypted digital template that becomes stored on the card.
These can be used at any location that currently has an EMV terminal, which reads the square chip commonly found on most credit cards. As a result, Mastercard says that merchants won’t need any software or hardware upgrades to use these new cards. Customers will still need to insert their cards, but Mastercard says future versions will include support for contactless technology for easier use.
The new card aims to help identify and prevent fraud, reduce operational costs and increase card approval rates. “Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at 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.”
Testing on the cards is currently underway in South Africa, with further trials planned for “the coming months” in Europe and throughout east Asia. A full global rollout is “expected later this year.”
Image credit: Flickr – Håkan Dahlström, Mastercard