Soon, Your Fingerprint Will Be On Your Mastercard

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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.

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