Biometric Payment Cards Getting Closer to Market

By Jocelyn Levy | 2nd November 2020 | 7 min read

Biometric payment cards hold out the possibility to add security and reassurance to contactless payments and cards. Despite increasing market uptake, the fear remains that with contactless payments, if someone gets their hand on your card, they can buy whatever they want before you get a chance to block it. That is why the £30 limit is in force and remains a must-have safety net. But could adding a simple biometric element remove the fears and further boost acceptance?

Biometric payment cards take steps forward

For contactless to work in conjunction with a biometric payment cards, you would simply need to have your thumb or finger on a fingerprint sensor embedded directly into your payment card as you made your purchase. It’s simple, it’s convenient, and it’s getting closer to being a reality.

A lot of work and pilot trials have been going on across the globe to make such solutions possible. Just recently, Mastercard awarded its CAST (Compliance Assessment and Security Testing) certificate to a collaboration between NXP, Precise and Fingerprint Cards. The certificate lasts for three years and confirms the collaborations’ biometric fingerprint cards pass all security requirements.

While in the US, SmartMetric has also been developing technology to provide on-card fingerprint sensors on its credit cards. It found in its research that 80 per cent of US cardholders are concerned about identity theft on their credit cards. Not surprisingly, 67 per cent of those surveyed would be interested in biometric cards.

Why biometrics?

Goode Intelligence has forecast that by 2023, 579 million biometric payment cards will in circulation globally. It believes there will be a demand for biometric-based payments from all parties, and at BioStore, we are inclined to agree.

We have seen how biometrics can make a huge difference to organisations on a daily basis. Using biometrics for authentication adds far greater security to systems combined with incredible ease-of-use. A simple fingerprint scan is not only so much easier for users than having to remember a PIN, a password or carry a card at all times, it is also far more secure.

We help organisations bring that biometric convenience to their offices, factories, schools, leisure centres and so much more. We will certainly not be surprised to see that same convenience and security appear on debit and credit card payment solutions.