Bank of Cyprus is to issue a biometric EMV card which uses fingerprint recognition instead of a PIN code to authenticate the cardholder.
When customers place their fingerprint on the embedded sensor, a comparison is performed between the scanned fingerprint and the reference biometric data securely stored in the card.
The biometric sensor card, supplied by Gemalto, is powered by the payment terminal and does not require an embedded battery; it is also compatible with existing payment terminals already installed across the country, says the vendor.
Bank of Cyprus' customers will be required to enroll for the cards at bank branches, where fingerprints will be captured and card activation completed using a purpose-built tablet device to avoid over-the-air transmission of personally-identifiable data.
Bertrand Knopf, Gemalto's executive vice president banking and payment says Bank of Cyprus will be the first in the world to implement the technology, which made its debut at Mobile World Congress 2016.
"Using biometrics for contactless payments is a natural move as it fits in naturally with the gesture used to pay," he adds. "It allows a better user experience, enabling higher transaction amounts without entering a PIN while benefiting from the convenience of contactless"