MasterCard Strapped a Fingerprint Sensor to a Credit Card

MasterCard today announced a new credit card that’s currently in testing. And guess what they strapped to it? A fingerprint sensor.

Yes, folks. As if you didn’t expect to see this type of innovation anytime soon, MasterCard has officially announced a card with a fingerprint scanner strapped to the front for authenticating purchases.

Obviously, perks with this technology are pretty much endless as you won’t have to risk someone seeing your PIN as you type it in or, even worse, forgetting your PIN entirely. The technology even works with all existing card readers. Plus it’s no thicker than it’s brothers that require a PIN or signature for authentication.

“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at 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.”

MasterCard explains how the fingerprint scanner works on the new credit card below.

A cardholder enrolls their card by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. The card is now ready to be used at any EMV card terminal globally.

When shopping and paying in-store, the biometric card works like any other chip card. The cardholder simply dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated and the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.

South Africa will be the first region to test the new technology, with more to come (such as Europe and Asia) in the near future and over the coming months. A wider trail will be executed later this year.

You can learn more about the announcement here.