It took a string of huge, high-profile hack attacks on customers’ payment cards to fast-track credit card payments out of the age-old and vulnerable “swipe and sign” routine.
Now comes MasterCard’s announcement that it is teaming up with biometric tech company, Zwipe, to prevent people from paying for items with stolen credit cards via the newer method of taping a card at checkout (and bypassing the PIN code process).
The added layer of security involves creating the world’s “first fingerprint authenticated contactless payment card,” Zwipe says.
The Zwipe MasterCard, which will be probably offered only in the UK for now, comes with a built-in fingerprint scanner that stores your thumbprint. When you put your thumb on the scanner, the embedded chip unlocks and you’ll be able to tap the card to make purchases.
This so-called biometric authentication replaces PIN entry and enables cardholders to make payments of any amount, unlike other contactless payment cards on the market, Zwipe says.
Says Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard: “Our belief is that we should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers. Biometric authentication can help us achieve this. However, our challenge is to ensure the technology offers robust security, simplicity of use and convenience for the customer. Zwipe’s first trial is a significant milestone and its results are very encouraging.”
Watch the video: