Biometric authentication on smartphones are fast becoming a standard feature. Smartphones lately have also become a method of payments, with an underlying intention of leaving physical credit and debit cards behind us. However, in an attempt to keep the credit cards alive, Mastercard has unveiled a new credit card that incorporates a fingerprint scanner built right into the bottom of the card. Also Read - Facebook for Android will soon get dark mode and coronavirus tracking featureAlso Read - Xiaomi Mi Band 4 with NFC coming out of China with Mastercard support
Similar to fingerprint sensor in a smartphone, in a credit card too, it offers two primary purposes — seamless experience and improved security. Basically, you no more need to remember PINs and passwords, which makes the process immediately shorter, and your unique fingerprint would naturally contribute to a higher security of your bank account. In a press release, Mastercard s chief of security Ajay Bhalla said the card would offer customers additional convenience and security.
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, he added. RELATED: Mastercard starts trial to verify mobile payments with a selfie
Mastercard has also revealed that this new card works with all existing chip-and-PIN readers, which means no magnetic stripe-only terminals. Currently the new credit card is being trialled in South Africa, with additional trials being planned for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in coming months. And a full roll out [is] expected later this year.
To get this new credit card issued, customers will have to visit an enrollment center, which would probably be a bank, where their fingerprint will be scanned and transferred onto their card. It ll be stored as encrypted data on the card s EMV chip, and users will be able to save up to two prints. Although you can t put a print from someone else s hand on there. ALSO READ: Visa is testing sunglasses to enable contactless payments
While some researchers argue, that fingerprint sensors actually makes a device more vulnerable to hacking, some security experts believe that it may still be better than a PIN. With the combination of chip and PIN, the PIN is the weaker element. Using a fingerprint gets rid of that, Karsten Nohl, chief scientist at Berlin’s Security Research Labs, told BBC News. Fingerprints have helped us avoid using terrible passwords, and even the most gullible person is not going to cut off their finger if [a criminal] asks nicely.
Lead image credit: Rebecca Kaufman (Mastercard Press Release)