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Mastercard adds fingerprint sensor to debit and credit cards

technology / Tech News
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Mastercard adds fingerprint sensor to debit and credit cards

By: - Content Strategist / @ABayleINQ
/ 03:24 PM April 20, 2017
Image: Mastercard

Image: Mastercard

The use of biometrics, or unique human characteristics such as irises and fingerprints, is steadily becoming the preferred mode of securing smartphones, laptops, safes, and more. So it only make sense that credit cards also adapt this security measure.

Mastercard is currently testing out a fingerprint sensor embedded into debit and credit cards for authorizing payments.

When implemented, this will automatically render obsolete the signing of one’s signature or typing of the security pin for every transaction. One would simply have to touch the fingerprint sensor with a finger and voila, the payment is processed. No different from unlocking an iPhone or Android device.

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Apart from the convenience it brings, the system would also prevent other people from using someone else’s credit card. They would need to have the same fingerprint as the owner of the card, after all.

Trials are currently being conducted in South Africa. Mastercard is hoping to roll out the new cards to the rest of the world by the end of 2017. Local banks would have to be on-boarded with the new system for customers to avail of the biometric credit card.

Should a local bank start to offer biometric cards, customers would have to take a short trip to their respective banks to enroll their fingerprints. This information is then encrypted and saved on the cards’ EMV chip. Two prints can be saved, but these need to be from the same person. Afterwards, the new biometric card can be used on terminals that are already capable of reading an EMV chip.

Adapting the new system would be easy for merchants because an existing EMV-compatible terminal would suffice.

These days, biometric authentication offer the the most secure solution for protecting one’s assets. Just be careful of sneaky spies who, just like in the movies, would try to copy your fingerprints from the last glass of wine that you drank from. JB

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TAGS: biometric authentication, biometric card, EMV chip, MasterCard
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