MasterCard Reveals Next-Generation Biometric Card


Major credit card company MasterCard recently revealed its next generation of biometric card. The card actually consists of chip technology with fingerprints that conveniently and safely verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases. Through fingerprints, it confirms in a unique way that the person using the card is the genuine cardholder.

The card is built on fingerprint scanning technology that used for mobile payments today. It is also useful at EMV terminals worldwide. Through this many merchants can maximize their shopping experience delivered to their customers.

Developers conducted two different tests in South Africa. They conducted trials with Pick n Pay and the other with Absa Bank (Barclays Africa).

MasterCard Reveals Next-Generation Biometric Card
Michelle van Schalkwyk, Head of Brand at Pick n Pay, pays for her shopping using her fingerprint to authenticate the transaction during the first global trial of the MasterCard biometric card in South Africa.

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

Working of Biometric card:

Whenever the user enrolls his card by registering at the bank, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template. The template is then stored on the card. The card will be ready to use. While payments, it works like any other chip card. The user simply needs to dip the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor.

It processes authentication if the user’s fingerprint matches with the template. Hence, the transaction is approved for the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.

According to the company, the technology helps detect and prevent fraud, increase approval rates, reduce operational costs and foster customer loyalty.”

Richard van Rensburg, deputy CEO of Pick n Pay said, “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.”

Geoff Lee, head of card and payments at Absa Retail and Business Banking said, “We are very proud to be the first bank in Africa to test – in a real payment environment – the single-touch authentication technology that will unlock the benefits of biometrics. The technology will effectively enable our customers to rely on their unique fingerprints to make payments in a face-to-face environment. Following the test period, we will make it available to our customers in a way that is affordable, reliable, and convenient and, most importantly, extremely secure.”


See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.