Security of credit/debit cards have become a major thing due to the word “hack”. And it seems like MasterCard has understood that. So now, the company, in collaboration with Norwegian company Zwipe, has decided to launch the world’s first biometric contactless payment card with integrated fingerprint sensor.
Zwipe develops fingerprint sensors. MasterCard has partnered with Zwipe to create a credit card that includes both contactless payments and biometric security. The “Zwipe MasterCard” will work similarly to Apple Pay: You can just hold the card up to a payment terminal and authenticate a transaction with your fingerprint.
MasterCard, one of Apple’s premiere Apple Pay partners, has already tested the card with Norway’s Sparebanken DIN, but it will likely be a while until it is seen available at other credit card providers. However, both the companies claim that this is the first card to combine NFC and biometric security (which replaces the PIN-based security of other NFC-based cards). The card includes a typical NFC secure element and it stores your biometric data.
Just like Apple Pay, the Zwipe MasterCard offers two features that could ween consumers off of traditional credit cards: There’s no swiping involved, just a wave at an NFC terminal; and your credentials are incredibly difficult to capture, since they rely on biometric authentication. You won’t have to worry about a shady store stealing your card number with either the Zwipe MasterCard or Apple Pay.
Ajay Bhalla, President of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard said, “Our belief is that we should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers. Biometric authentication can help us achieve this. However, our challenge is to ensure the technology offers robust security, simplicity of use and convenience for the customer. Zwipe’s first trial is a significant milestone and its results are very encouraging.”
Zwipe is now working on an updated version of the card for 2015 that will be compatible with existing payment terminals. That card will also be able to gather power wirelessly from the terminals. While refusing to give an exact date, Bhalla has hinted that the Zwipe MasterCard will be available for at some point in 2015.