MasterCard Introduces Fingerprint Payment Cards

mastercard biometric payment card fingerprintThe head of brand at Pick n Pay, Michelle van Schalkwyk uses her fingerprint to pay during testing
  • MasterCard Introduces Fingerprint Payment Cards

One of the world’s largest credit card providers, MasterCard, has started testing its new biometric credit card that includes a user’s fingerprint in South Africa.

mastercard biometric cardThe credit card which combines both the traditional four-digit personal identification number (PIN) and a biometric chip will enable customers to use both their PIN and thumb to authenticate payments.

According to Ajay Bhalla, the president of enterprise risk and security for MasterCard, “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. Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver addition convenience and security. Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics.

Research has shown that millions of PINs are stolen each year, leaving users to empty debit accounts or fraudulent charges. This outcry prompts credit card companies to add a chip system last year as a safer alternative to authenticate transactions before credit cards are debited or charged.

“Merchants can easily maximize the shopping experience delivered to their customers, as the card works with existing EMV card terminal infrastructure and does not require new hardware or software upgrades,” said MasterCard.

Richard van Rensburg, the deputy CEO of Pick n Pay, one of the stores where the card was tested said “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.”

About the Author

Samed Olukoya
CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya

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