Mastercard Tests New Bank Card With Fingerprint Scanner
Mastercard has announced that it is trialing a new type of fingerprint-scanning bank card in two South African locations, with other locations to follow in across Europe and Asia. The card works much like a regular, PIN-activated card in that users slot it into a payment terminal, but rather than need enter a number, consumers simply hold on to a special strip in the upper right-had corner of the card to let the money go through. Mastercard are expecting to start rolling out the technology for more widespread use late this year.
The new biometric security measure should add not just an extra layer of safety, but also slowly help phase out current ways in which thieves and con men are prevented from using other people’s cards.. Most bank cards in the world use a personal identification number — which criminals can figure out in a number of ways, from skimming to simply looking over your shoulder — or even rely on good, old-fashioned signatures, with all the problems those bring.
The fingerprinted bank card should not only be as lot safer, but will also bring the convenience that contactless payments have: contactless is a system used throughout Europe where people can pay for purchases — usually up to a limit of $20 to $30 — by simply holding up a card to a payment machine and letting a RFID chip handle the rest. Though this system isn’t particularly secure by itself — hence the low limit — with a biometric card like Mastercard is developing, it becomes as safe as the bank.
If the trials go well, it seems that many security problems associated with bank cards will simply disappear. As an added bonus, it will also cut down on the time we spend waiting for that one customer to finally remember their PIN while paying for their groceries.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.