MasterCard trials biometric EMV card

MasterCard users could soon be using their fingerprints to verify their purchases.

The company has unveiled the ‘next generation biometric card’, which brings together chip technology and biometrics to confirm the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

The technology is currently being trialled in South Africa with supermarket chain Pick n Pay and Absa Bank. The card features a built-in fingerprint scanner and can be used at EMV terminals around the world.

To activate the feature, cardholders simply need to register their fingerprint with their bank. The scan is then turned into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card.

The card then works just like any other EMV card for in-store transactions. The cardholder inserts the card into a terminal while their thumb is resting on the embedded sensor. Once the fingerprint is verified against the digital template, it successfully authenticates the user and approves that transaction without the card leaving the holder’s hand.