MasterCard is currently testing a credit card with a fingerprint scanner embedded within it, creating an extra layer of biometric authentication to keep the accounts of their customers as safe as possible.
Convenience and security are the two key benefits of the new system that MasterCard have highlighted. While contactless payment technology offers speed, no authentication is usually needed. PIN numbers are more secure, but they take a greater amount of time, can be forgotten, and can easily be seen if the keypad is not obscured from prying eyes. The fingerprint system provides the best of both worlds at least in MasterCard’s opinion.
Previous iterations of biometric cards required a separate fingerprint scanner, limiting their usefulness, as the special equipment needed to be provided by the store, which only a small minority did. This new generation of cards only needs to be inserted into the standard terminal, with the fingerprint authentication bypassing the need to enter a PIN number. A MasterCard spokesperson did say that “If the finger is too greasy or sweaty and the biometric doesn’t go through, the cardholder would experience a small delay and then asked to put in their PIN to complete the transaction,” which is a small price to pay for the benefits. Contactless payment technology will be implemented in future versions “adding to the simplicity and convenience at the checkout.”
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