MasterCard looks to bust contactless transaction limits with fingerprint cards

MasterCard looks to bust contactless transaction limits with fingerprint cards

MasterCard has partnered with Norwegian firm Zwipe to launch a contactless payment card with built-in fingerprint sensor.

Cardholder fingerprint data is stored directly on the card, not in an external database. The biometric authentication replaces the PIN entry, thus enabling cardholders to make payments over and above the low-value limits typically applied to contactless transactions.



Zwipe is now working on the next generation of its card that will be the same format as a standard card and designed to work with all payment terminals for release in 2015. This new card will harvest energy from the payment terminals without the need for a battery.

The launch of the partnership with MasterCard comes after a successful live pilot with Norway’s Sparebanken DIN.

Kim Humborstad, founder and CEO of Zwipe, says: “Response to our pilot with Sparebanken DIN has been very positive. Cardholders love how easy the card is to use with the added security feature. We have also had exceptionally good reaction from retailers participating in the pilot. This pilot enabled the partners to gather valuable customer feedback, experience and best practice for the enrolment and deployment phase.”

Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 October, 2014, 11:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

That requires issuers' participation, doesn't it?.. I wonder what they think about all those extra costs (well, that was a rhetoric question...)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 October, 2014, 12:04Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's a fabulous initiative and shows great innovation on the part of Mastercard and in terms of usability, it balances out nicely (grab card and tap) compared with MasterPass (PIN needed) on a smartphone or a contactless smartphone payment.

Costs could make this a premium service to encourage use of Credit Cards rather than just being used to raise the limit on a contactless debit transaction. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 October, 2014, 14:17Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'm thinking the cost of issuance here would be significantly higher than perhaps a device which already has NFC and a fingerprint reader already built in...  

Much like the Cards with the Keypads for online authentication - the cost of issuance was ridiculous compared to issuance of a Card with a separate CAP reader.

 

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India 19 October, 2014, 14:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Zswipe can solve issue faced by countries like India, few african region countries which has biometric database of citizens and govt runs direct benefit transfer program to benefit unbanked citizens.

Zswipe can business case of pre-paid card with biometric authentication which can be used for EMV transactions as well as local country specific transaction authentication using single terminal.

The cost of re-issue of cards can be observed as most of the local country specific transactions needed some investment.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 20 October, 2014, 19:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

To re-phrase Jim Barksdale: "If we have facts, let's look at facts. If all we have are opinions, mine is better."

There are several points of ignorance: the cost of such a bio card, its usability (e.g. ATM), battery life (powering by the terminal will not work for home enrollment, wet fingers (those with 5S or 6 will understand), "PIN verified" rules, etc.

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