Mastercard’s new credit card has an in-built fingerprint scanner

By : |April 21, 2017 0

While fingerprint scanners are pretty common on smartphones today, Mastercard thinks this technology could also be the way forward with our credit cards. Thus, the company unveiled its latest credit card yesterday which comes with an in-built fingerprint scanner. The card is just like your normal plastic card and lets users authorise their payments with a touch, rather than using a PIN or signature.

The company introduced its first fingerprint scanner-equipped card in South Africa, following a couple of successful pilots, one with retailer Pick n Pay and the other with Absa Bank which is a subsidiary of Barclays Africa. Additional trials are planned for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in the upcoming months, while a full rollout is expected to happen at some point later this year.

“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics. 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’s chief of security Ajay Bhalla.

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The card features a small darkened area that houses the fingerprint scanning technology. When customers want to pay for something, all they need to do is hold the card by the fingerprint sensor and insert it into the card reader. The company says the card works with existing chip and PIN readers, but not with magnetic stripe-only terminals.

To get hold of the new card, users need to head to an enrollment center to get their fingerprints scanned and transferred onto their personal card. Two fingerprints stored as encrypted data on the card’s EMV chip are allowed to be registered to the card, but both have to belong to the same person for security reasons.