Mastercard trials fingerprint biometric card

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Struggling to remember a pin number could become a thing of the past under as Mastercard trials its biometrics card, offering shoppers the chance to pay with a swipe of a finger.

Mastercard has unveiled a new next-generation biometric card, which combines chip technology with fingerprints to verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

The biometrics card, which is being trialled in South Africa, builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.

When shopping and paying in-store, the biometric card works like any other chip card. The cardholder dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.

Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard, said: “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.”

MasterCard’s announcement follows similar initiatives including a trial offering the chance to pay with a selfie; Further evidence that biometric technologies are coming of age.