Credit Card Biometrics: Fleeting Trend or the Next Big Deal?

9. January 2018.

When testing new technologies, it often makes sense to pick small obscure markets serviced by regional banks rather than global credit card issuers such as Citi or Santander. Here is a test by Gemalto, a leader in plastic card technologies that might not be the ultimate solution but looks like the seed of a good idea.

  • …digital security firm Gemalto on Friday launched a biometric-powered credit card with a contactless technology that uses fingerprint recognition to authenticate the cardholder.

  • Gemalto has been selected by Bank of Cyprus to supply the “EMV biometric dual-interface” payment card for both chip and contactless payments.

The domain of the Republic Cyprus, a country with a population similar to the state of Rhode Island, is an interesting venue to deploy leading-edge technologies, but it is a viable test bed.

  • “Bank of Cyprus customers will be first in the world to enjoy biometric convenience on a contactless payment card. Gemalto’s biometric sensor payment card is designed to provide maximum security and data privacy,” said Bertrand Knopf, Gemalto’s Executive Vice President, Banking, and Payment.

  • When customers place their fingerprint on the sensor, a comparison is performed between the scanned fingerprintand the reference biometric data securely stored on the card. The biometric sensor card is powered by the payment terminal and does not require an embedded battery.

This is not the first test of a fintech solution to cards, but having Gemalto behind it is significant. Will it play in Peoria? We will have to see, but for now, we will have to see how it does in Nicosia.

Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Grou

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