Mastercard has unveiled the future of the credit card – a biometric card that combines chip technology with fingerprints so the store can verify the cardholder’s identity every time they use it.
The new card will require the cardholder to register their fingerprint with their financial institution.
This fingerprint is then converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card.
When the card is used at the terminal in the store it works like any other chip card while placing their finger on the terminal’s embedded sensor.
If the fingerprint matches, the transaction goes ahead.
This new system has numerous benefits and will confirm in a unique way that the person making the purchase is the genuine cardholder.
Cards would work with the existing terminals and infrastructure so merchants can still deliver a seamless shopping experience for their customers.
For the card issuers, the new technology can help detect and prevent card fraud which costs tens of billions of dollars per year.
There are trials underway now in South Africa with employees from Pick N Pay and Absa Bank testing the cards and the security measures.
“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said 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.”
Additional trials are being planned for Europe and the Asia Pacific in the coming months.