One way or another, the traditional way of making payments at retail is going to change. While companies like Apple and Softcard are hoping you ditch plastic completely, others believe consumers do indeed value security and convenience but will be reluctant to give up their trusty cards.
In a move to cater to the latter audience, MasterCard and Zwipe have announced a biometric contactless payment card with a built-in fingerprint scanner.
Ordinary contactless payment systems allow a cardholder to wave their credit or debit card over a terminal to complete a transaction. This eliminates the need to enter a PIN which makes the entire process a bit more convenient but it also makes it incredibly easy for someone to steal your card and make unauthorized purchases.
When making a contactless payment with MasterCard’s new solution, users will simply need to hold their finger over the card’s biometric scanner when waving the card to authorize the transaction. Cardholder fingerprint data is stored directly on the card, not in an external database, so it’ll no doubt be more secure.
The card itself will be roughly the same size as a regular credit card. Power is drawn not from a battery within the card but from the payment terminal at the time it is swiped. It also features an EMV certified element.
The two companies recently completed a successful live pilot in Norway. They’re working on a revised version of the card designed to work with all payment terminals for release in 2015.