MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - MasterCard Inc., announced Friday the launch of the world’s first fingerprint authenticated contactless payment cards, the Zwipe MasterCard.
“The card is the first of its kind to combine the security of biometric authentication with the speed and convenience of contactless payment,” MasterCard said in a statement on its website, adding that its payment solution does not “compromise on security”.
MasterCard partnered with Zwipe, a Norwegian company, to develop the first contactless cards with full on-card fingerprint scanning. The new cards had successful trials in Norway’s Sparebanken DIN bank.
The fingerprint data is stored directly on the card, and eliminates the need to enter a pin after a purchase of any amount.
Zwipe plans to release the cards, designed to work at all payment terminals sometime in 2015.
“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,” Ajay Bhalla, President of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard was quoted as saying by MasterCard during the launch.
Bhalla added that however, security was of utmost important as well as simplicity and convenience.
“We will continue to work with innovators, like Zwipe, to ensure we stay ahead of fraudsters and provide a seamless payment experience, as ultimately it is consumers who decide how they choose to pay,” he said.
Currently, customers in the United Kingdom can pay for goods up to 20 pounds ($32) with the available contactless payment but are required to input their pin number for items costing more, according to a report by The Guardian.
But whether banks will take up the new cards depends on customer demand and surety in the security, according to the newspaper.