Payment cards are gaining new capabilities as Visa has launched a pilot of a new dual-interface (chip- and contactless-enabled) biometric payment card with Mountain America Credit Union and Bank of Cyprus… Strong security: Fingerprint biometric is stored only on the card to ensure that a cardholder’s data is protected.
The card will test the use of fingerprint recognition as an alternative to PIN or signature to authenticate the cardholder during a transaction. The pilot is being managed through the Visa Ready for Biometrics program, a new offering to support the growing demand for biometric technology in the payments category.
Here’s how it works. The cardholder enrolls the fingerprint, which is securely stored on the card. When he or she places the finger on the card’s sensor during a transaction, the card senses whether the scanned print is the same as the print stored in the card. A green or red light on the card indicates a successful or unsuccessful match.
Biometric payment cards offer several benefits beyond ease of use:
- Strong security: Fingerprint biometric is stored only on the card to ensure that a cardholder’s data is protected.
- Hardware Upgrades Unnecessary: The biometric card is designed to be compatible with existing payment terminals that accept contactless- or chip-based payments around the world.
- Self-charging: The biometric sensor is powered by the payment terminal, ensuring there is no embedded battery or need to re-charge the card.