In the western world, credit cards are simply swipe-to-pay. The user is not required to input a pin. Closer home, we have Chip-and-PIN cards, thus the user has to input a PIN before any transaction is approved.
MasterCard yesterday announced a new invention. A card with an embedded fingerprint reader on it.
The user therefore does not need to input any PIN but simply swipe their finger on the reader and the payment is approved. MasterCard says that the new card builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments such as Apple Pay and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.
MasterCard says that the card works with existing EMV card terminals and therefore merchants will not be required to upgrade their terminals or buy any new hardware.
The card is currently in trial in South Africa. MasterCard said that more trials will be conducted with the new card over the next few months and a full roll out should be expected later this year.
“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla – President, Enterprise Risk and Security, 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.”
There’s no information whether the card will make its way into the Kenyan market and whether the technology will be applied to Debit Cards as well.