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Mastercard is testing a new credit card with a built-in fingerprint sensor

By John Law & Cookie Monster - on 21 Apr 2017, 10:00am

Mastercard is testing a new credit card with a built-in fingerprint sensor

Image source: Mastercard

With fingerprint authentication becoming the norm for mobile payment on mobile phones and tablets, it is no surprise that credit card companies are also adopting it as a convenient way of authenticating card payments. 

Mastercard is currently testing its next generation biometric card which combines chip technology and fingerprint sensors to verify the cardholder's identity before making payment. Mastercard has briefly outlined how the new card will work: 

  • You enroll the new card by registering with the relevant financial institution 
  • Upon registration, your fingerprint will be converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card 
  • You just need to slot the card into the EMV card terminal and place your finger on the embedded sensor of the credit card 
  • Your fingerprint will be verified against the template and if the biometrics match, the transaction is approved 

There are many benefits of authenticating payment transactions via fingerprints such as ease of use, compatibility with existing EMV card terminal infrastructure, minimizing fraud, and eliminating the hassle of signing paper receipts or covering up the number pad when keying in the PIN. 

Mastercard recently concluded two separate trials in South Africa involving Pick n Pay (a leading supermarket retailer) and Absa Bank (a subsidiary of Barclays Africa). More trials will be conducted over the next few months with an expected full roll-out later this year. Additional trials are also planned in Europe and Asia Pacific in the coming months. 

Another credit card company, Visa is also experimenting with wearables for mobile payment. It showcased a pair of prototype sunglasses which has a NFC chip on one side to make payment. 

Source: Mastercard via Engadget.