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Mastercard Tests Biometric Cards That Provide Fingerprint Verification

Mastercard has unveiled biometric cards that contain both Chip and Pin technology, as well as, biometric sensors. The test has launched only in South Africa at present.

After smartphones, buildings, airports, -and FBI-  the next step is to let finance industries adopt fingerprint verification to increase user security. As a part of a limited trial in South Africa, Mastercard has announced launching a credit card with a fingerprint scanner.

The card has a small square which scans the fingerprint on the top-right corner. Mastercard states that the card can make scans on Apple and Android devices that allow contactless payments once a device stores the print recognition.

With these new cards, Mastercard users can add up to two fingerprints and the prints would be stored on the card’s EMV chip. A user can put the card in the reader and hold their finger to a section of the card where their template is stored to verify their fingerprint. The finance company says the biometric technology ‘has been introduced as an additional security feature and the technology is the next step on from banks using fingerprint ID to access financial apps.’

The functionality of the system will get checked through a regular check-out process, and a full roll-out of the system is expected to take place later this year. South African trials utilized employees from both Absa and Pick ‘n Pay to test the new technology.

In the official press release, deputy CEO of Pick ‘n Pay – Richard van Rensburg, says,

We are delighted that this innovation has been trialed for the first time at Pick n Pay stores in South Africa. Biometric capability will mean added convenience and enhanced security for our customers.

The technology creates a platform on which we can further our strategy of personalizing the shopping experience in a meaningful way. We have been extremely impressed with the robust and secure nature of the technology.

The company is running trials for the new cards in South Africa for now, but they plan to begin trials in Europe and Asia. Neat idea, don’t you think? 

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