MasterCard Is Launching The World’s First Biometric Credit Card

While the concept of simply waving a credit card in front of a machine for quick and easy use is an appealing one, the issue of security tends to come up. After all, such methods bypass the need for a PIN, making it easier for someone to steal the card and simply use it. But MasterCard, in partnership with Swipe, have announced a new credit card that is the world’s first fingerprint authenticated contactless payment card.

It is called the Zwipe Mastercard payment card and it features an integrated biometric sensor, combined with Zwipe’s biometric authentication technology, which also stores a person’s biometric data. To make a contactless purchase, the consumer needs to have their thumb placed on the biometric sensor when they wave it in front of an NFC reader during a transaction. If the correct thumbprint is not detected during a transaction, then it will not be processed.

Successful trials of an early prototype were conducted in Norway with the Sparebanken DIN. However, the prototype was a clunky, battery-powered version. For MasterCard, Zwipe will be releasing a new version of the card in 2015 that will be powered by harvesting energy from a payment terminal whenever it is being used.

Last year, MasterCard was one of a number of businesses that joined the FIDO Alliance as part of an effort to make shopping online and authentication more secure by pushing for the use of fingerprint scanning. Since then, the company has teamed up with Apple concerning NFC-powered mobile transactions.

So what do you think of a credit card that stores your fingerprint?