We’re securing our phones, laptops, and other devices with fingerprint sensors. While it’s not the most secure method around, it’s better than a pin or password. Apple Pay and Android Pay both require you to use a fingerprint sensor to verify it’s you making a purchase. Now, in a pilot in South Africa, Mastercard is protecting purchases on your credit card with a fingerprint sensor. Yes, a fingerprint sensor on your credit card! The biometric sensor promises to help prevent fraud and is more secure than a four-digit pin.
The fingerprint reader will authenticate a purchase when you’re using the credit cards chip reader. The sensor is on the opposite side of the card, so when you’re making a purchase, you’ll place your finger on the sensor. Instead of setting up the fingerprint on a phone or laptop, you’ll need to go through the finical institution. Mastercard didn’t go into detail how they secure the fingerprint, but it is encrypted on the card. It’s also unclear if the bank will store your fingerprint on their servers for future reference.
Mastercard wants to secure our payment methods better
We’re seeing fingerprint readers in phones, the Macbook Pro, on other devices plus credit cards. Hopefully having everything secured with fingerprints instead of passwords we can cut down on fraud and security breaches. I’m a little hesitant on giving a bank my fingerprint, but I’m hopeful they’ll want to secure it locally on the card and nowhere else.
The test is happening in South Africa. Two financial institutions are participating; Barclays Africa subsidiary Absa and supermarket Pick n Pay. MasterCard is also planning on expanding the tests in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. America is often the last country to adopt new finical payment methods, case in point; we only adopted chip payments this past year.
Tell us in the comments below if you’d use a credit card with a fingerprint reader!