Mastercard yesterday (April 20, 2017 ) unveiled the next generation biometric card, combining chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.
MasterCard launches Credit Card with Built-In Fingerprint Scanner:
The company is already testing the new biometric payment cards, combined with the on-board chips, in South Africa and says it hopes to roll out the new cards to the rest of the world by the end of 2017.
It Still Supports PIN-based Transactions :
The company has confirmed that even if the card is configured to expect the fingerprint for authenticating a purchase, but it does still have a PIN as a fallback, in case, for some reason EMV readers fail to read fingerprint or you have yourself handed it to your child for shopping.
Stores & Retailers Don’t Need New Hardware
According to Mastercard, the new biometric payment card will not require store owners and businesses to buy any new hardware, like fingerprint scanners, because the sensor in the card reads your fingerprint. Since both the data and the scanner exist on the same card, the new payment cards work with existing EMV card terminal infrastructure — the standard chip/swipe readers you can find at many stores these days, though old magnetic stripe-only terminals won’t be compatible.
But, Banks Need to Adopt New Technology
Before this new cards can be adopted worldwide, your banks or financial institution will have to get on board with the new tech. If you want the new biometric card, you are currently required to go to your bank branch in order to have your fingers scanned and registered for the new tech. Your fingerprints will then be converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card’s EMV chip. You can save up to two fingerprints, but both would have to be yours — you can not authorise someone else, even from your family, to use your card with their fingers.
Once your templates are saved, your card is ready to be used at compatible terminals across the world. Merchants don’t have to purchase new equipment to accept your fingerprint-enabled payment card but will have to update their machinery in an effort to use the new tech. Now, while shopping at any store, just place your biometric payment card into a retailer’s EMV terminal and then put your finger on the embedded sensor to pay. Your fingerprints will be verified against a template stored on your card to approve your transaction.