The Future of Payment Safety: Biometric cards

January 26, 2022

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless payment methods such as digital wallets have had a ‘boom’ in the market. However, companies are still working out the kinks in the system in order to make contactless even safer. As a result, this year there will be trials for a new payment method: a biometric payment card.

Banks in India, Poland, Iraq, Mexico, Lebanon and Egypt will begin trials for biometric card payments this year. According to NFCW, Bank Pocztowy in Poland began their trials last December, and India’s payment service provider Easy Pay is to begin trials before a commercial rollout in later 2022. Iraq’s International Network for Cards and Digital Payment Services (INC) are also joining in on the trials, as well as ForzaCard in Mexico, Areeba in Lebanon and Masria Digital Payments in Egypt.

The trials in India, Iraq, Mexico, Lebanon and Egypt follow a series of deals signed by the service providers in these territories with Norway-based biometric card technology provider Zwipe.

How Does It Work?

A biometric payment card works much like several android and apple products: you can scan your fingerprint instead of entering a password. This allows for a fully secure, contactless experience. 

The biometric payment cards, built on the unique single silicon platform Zwipe Pay One, deliver world-class security and a completely touch-less user experience, leading to improved customer loyalty and a strong business case for banks

One example is Bank Pocztowy’s biometric payment card which uses technology developed by Thales. They explained briefly how the card works: the consumer places their finger on a sensor and if the biometric data matches what was previously recorded, a light will turn green and the transaction will go through. This allows for extra security as fraudsters are unlikely to have your fingerprint with them; if such an individual wants to use the card, the light turns red and the transaction is rejected.

This is based on the consumer’s desire to have a safer technology that aids in protecting against card fraud. For banks’ card customers the concern of card fraud goes well beyond the financial loss they may or may not experience

This is a logical next step, as everyone who makes use of a credit or debit card has been exposed to fraud at one time or another; reducing the probability of one’s financial assets being exposed is why so many people are willing to pay for a biometric credit card.

Based on this consumer research, the future numbers of credit and debit cards with built-in biometrics can easily be greater than 1bn cards. That is only a 10% adoption rate when the consumer research is showing more than 60% potential adoption rate.

We are excited to see the results these trials produce.

Want to learn more? Check out NFCW’s full write-up here.

Would you make use of this technology? Share your thoughts on our LinkedIn page.

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