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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Cards security enhanced by Mastercard using biometrics

Thursday 20 April 2017 | 10:48 AM CET

Mastercard has announced that it is currently testing new fingerprint sensor-enabled payment cards to offer a convenient way to authorize in-person transactions.

Therefore, instead of signing a paper receipt or entering a PIN, users simply place their thumb on their card to prove their identity. Currently, the new cards are being tested in South Africa, and Mastercard hopes to roll them out to the rest of the world by the end of 2017.

The way it works depends on the technology availability and the customers desire to use it. Once they agree to it, they will have to go to an enrolment center (most likely a bank) to get their fingers scanned. An encrypted digital template of the fingerprint is stored on the card’s EMV chip. Users can save up to two prints, but they would both have to be theirs as no one else receives authorization to use it besides the owner. After templates are saved, the card is ready to be used at compatible terminals worldwide

Still, even when the tech will be rolled out across the globe, users will still have to wait for their bank or financial institution to get on board.

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