Japanese card issuer JCB International is trialling a service that allows its customers to access account information via mobile hand sets fitted with fingerprint scanners.
JCB is currently conducting the pilot with its own employees. Participants will download the JCB Safety Login i-appli - a fingerprint identification system developed in partnership with Fujitsu - to the NTT DoCoMo's F505i mobile phone.
The application can identify and authenticate customers using fingerprints as well as passwords.
JCB says it is conducting the trial with the expectation that fingerprints could be used instead of signature and PIN authentication across a wide range of payment situations in the future.
Masahiro Omoto, executive vice president and general manager, advanced technologies, JCB, says the trial is just a small step in pursuing the possibility of biometrics: "We are hopeful that such efforts will lead us to create a business environment where our customers can benefit from increased security and comfort in using our payment methods."