MasterCard is currently testing a card with an embedded fingerprint reader. This means that you could make payments using your fingerprint (biometric authentication) alone, saving you from typing in a pin.
The biometric card will not only make your payments more trouble-free but will also make your card usage more secure. Your card will be made unusable in case you lose it, since it would need your fingerprint for making payments.
The card company has tested the card in South Africa, in two locations. Trials will follow in Europe and Asia Pacific in the near future, while a full roll-out of the biometric card is expected later in the year.
The card does allow the use of a PIN in case the owner’s fingers are sweaty or greasy, for example. This will ensure that the card’s owner can still carry out his transactions even if he is not able to use his fingerprint.
According to Ajay Bhalla (president, enterprise risk and security, MasterCard) “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.”