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UBS: Fingerprint cards will generate $5bn in bank revenues by 2026

UBS: Fingerprint cards will generate $5bn in bank revenues by 2026

Analysts at UBS believe that biometric payment cards could capture a 15% share of the card market within the next five years.

The Swiss bank says increasing penetration of fingerprint sensor cards will drive $5 billion in revenue by 2026.

It points to declining production costs, the rise of the touch-free economy and a number of successful commercial pilots over the past year in its rationale.

French bank BNP Paribas in January began offering its Visa Premier cardholders the chance to upgrade to a contactless fingerprint option - for a €24 annual fee. Multiple other banks, from SocGen to NatWest, are also trialling the technology.

“In the past few years more than 23 pilots were reported with three commercial launches ongoing," says UBS. "In conclusion, despite the rise of mobile payment threat to the total cards volume, we believe biometric cards can fuel some growth within the payment cards market."

Comments: (9)

Itai Sela
Itai Sela - B2 Group - Delray Beach 18 February, 2021, 18:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Considering how expensive these cards are €24 is not that much.  In the US the premium cards are in the $350-$600 range per year and most are metal cards.  Not sure if that will work with a biometric reader on it.

Robin Setty
Robin Setty - ACI Worldwide (EMEA) Limited - Watford 19 February, 2021, 09:265 likes 5 likes

But many people already have a card with a biometric reader.  It's called a smartphone.  That's €24 saved.

Robert Sharratt
Robert Sharratt - Fluid Finance SA - Geneva 19 February, 2021, 10:382 likes 2 likes

By 2026 no one will be using physical cards; it will all be done through their phones.  For free.  

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 19 February, 2021, 12:412 likes 2 likes

Not sure how this is calculated. The rise of payments via phone surely renders this all a bit old school. In addition, even the experiences we have paying by phone will no doubt change in coming years, probably off of card rails full stop.....

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 19 February, 2021, 13:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If you can take with you only one: either your wallet, or your phone - which one will you leave at home?

Someone seems to be trying to make qick money by selling to banks the idea (and quantities of the physical cards or equioment to print them in-house) - while the 'future' still lasts 🙄

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 19 February, 2021, 13:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Some interesting comments.

I think Biometric on card have a great play for the masses. We "in the industry" as it were may well be up on mobile payments but we aren't the general public -e.g  many of my family wouldn't even dream of using their mobile to pay for anything! but happy with a card (or cash!!).

There are many consumer surveys that concur - card payment (with a shift to contactless) are still much more popular than mobile.

So I think yes bometric on cards will play a great role in making physicial payment more secure and contact free. No: card will not all be gone by 2026. 


Vineet Anand
Vineet Anand - Company - San Francisco 19 February, 2021, 21:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It will be interesting to see some fraud detterent metrics from these commercial pilots: What is the fraud rate of current chip card transactions or NFC cards? And what is the fraud rate for fingerprint cards? 

Why use fingerprint cards when chip / NFC cards can do the same transaction in a secure manner? Is the sales pitch around giving card user the comfort that transaction is more secure using fingerprint? Also since the pandemic, the users prefer to have less physical contact in tranactions. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 February, 2021, 20:29Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If we still have physical cards in 2026 I'll be surprised. Cards no longer have signatures, card numbers or  details printed on them and mag stripes are on the way out. It amazes me that we still refer to "Card not present" and that the networks still allow details from the physical card to be used for digital purchases! The only advantage of a card over a smartphone is that it hasn't got a battery to run out. (for now)

What were those "successful commercial pilots" that UBS refer to and who were they successful for?

Itai Sela
Itai Sela - B2 Group - Delray Beach 25 February, 2021, 01:11Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think some of you are missing key points in why cards are going to be around for a lot longer than you think.  Magstripe cards are no where close to being obsolete..... there is a huge prepaid and gift card market that still uses magstripe (no business case whatsoever to move to chip or the phone).  There are still many acceptance devices that don't accept chip and contactless (US specifically) and may never be upgraded.  Eurpoe could have removed the magstripe years ago but didn't do it - why? was it because the US didn't have chip?  I don't think that was the only reason.....The main point I think we should look at is what does this extra cost bring from a security perspective.  Fingerprint (like PIN) only protects agains lost and stolen and not anything else.  You still need the physical card to be able to do any type of card present fraud.  With most transactions going to CNP and with lost and stolen not being anywhere near scalable from a fraud perspecitve, why spend all this money? This is one of the main reasons there is really limited amount of PIN usage in the US (for credit cards) as it just isn't worth the investment vs the reduction in L&S fraud.