The appeal of a contactless payment card is obvious: you just wave your credit or debit card over a terminal and you’ve paid. But it also removes the PIN from the equation, meaning it’s easy for someone to steal and use your card. To combat this, but to also keep contactless payments a breeze, MasterCard has just announced the first credit card with a built-in fingerprint sensor for biometric security.
When making a contactless purchase the card owner simply needs to ensure their thumb is placed on the biometric sensor during the transaction. If the pre-approved thumbprint stored on the card isn’t detected, the contactless or chip-enabled purchase won’t be processed-it’s that simple.
Following up on a recent successful trial in Norway with an admittedly clunky battery-packed prototype, the company behind the technology, Zwipe, will be releasing a new version of the card for MasterCard in 2015. And to keep it as sleek and slim as the credit cards already in your pocket, it will actually be powered by harvesting energy from the payment terminal whenever it’s used. So the more you shop, the better it will work; how’s that for a tagline?