Soon, Your Fingerprint Will Be On Your Mastercard

Image: iStock

Mastercard's latest biometric card combines chip technology with fingerprints to verify your identity in store, and is expected to be available around the world by the end of 2017.

Here's how it works.

First, you'll need to register with your bank or card issuer, where your fingerprint will be converted into an encrypted digital template, stored on the card.

It can then be used at any EMV card terminal (the ones that read the chips) around the world, just like any other chip card. There's no new hardware or software upgrades needed for retailers. You'll just need to put your fingerprint on the sensor while your card is inserted in the machine, and as long as the biometrics match - success!

Mastercard says the benefit of authenticating a payment transaction biometrically is that it confirms "in a very unique way" that the person using the card is the genuine cardholder.

The aim is to help detect and prevent fraud, increase approval rates, reduce operational costs and foster customer loyalty, according to Mastercard, who are currently working on adding contactless technology to the system.

Recent trails in South Africa were successful, and there will be more "over the next few months" in Europe and Asia Pacific. A full global roll out is expected later this year.

"Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics," said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at 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."

We will keep you updated on any news of the technology coming to Australia.



    So MasterCard have a new idea for passwords:
    * You should use the same password in multiple places
    * You should leave it behind on everything you touch
    * You can't change it if you want to
    * It may change involuntarily (finger injuries, even a bandaid over a papercut)

    Is it April 1 today?

      Yeah, not a great idea for me being a carpenter. Always have glue, silicon and gap filler stuck all over my fingers. If it's not that gunk, my finger prints get worn down and damaged by work. I always have a hard time using my finger print scanner on my phone because of said reasons. Shit of an idea.

      Haven't militaries been moving AWAY from biometrics specifically because they are both so easy to steal without the owner's knowlege and the fact that you can't change them?

    The problem with relying on biometrics as a password is that if someone manages to "replicate" it you have no way of getting a new password (short of using a different body part).

      I know, I know. What if instead of a number in a bank account people carry laser encoded pieces of coloured plastic sheet that they exchange for goods.

    So credit-card thieves won't need to demand your pin number, they'll just lop off a finger.

    The problem is this technology is it is like a war. There is always someone breaching it. Encryption will eventually be broken, your finger print will be replaced with a scam finger print. If smart the scam print won't be a match for any of the thieves'.

    I also don't think this tech was properly thought through. When thieves steal wallets and cut victims' fingers off to transact online, this card tech will quite suddenly go the way of the Dodo.

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