Contactless cards currently allow users to tap their card on the payment terminal to make a purchase, the technology does away with entering a pin, or inserting the card, but could pose a problem in the event the card is stolen, which is why contactless purchases are capped at a certain amount; anything greater, and the user would have to insert their card, and enter a PIN to complete the transaction.
MasterCard and Zwipe have partnered to launch a new contactless card that makes contactless cards far more secure. The new contactless cards will work the same way current ones do, by tapping the card on the payment terminal, but unlike today’s cards, they will require fingerprint verification before approving the transaction. Requiring a fingerprint would make the card useless to a criminal attempting to use the card.
The fingerprint data will not be stored in a database, rather it will be stored on the card. The fingerprint verification would allow users to make purchases of any amount, unlike today’s cards which limit purchases.
Zwipe is currently working on the next generation of the card, which will be the same size as a regular card, and will work with current payment terminals. The card will also function as a chip card where contactless terminals aren’t available.
The new card won’t have any batteries in it, instead it will use energy from the payment terminal.
The technology underwent a trial in Norway.
In the MasterCard press release, Kim Humborstad, founder and CEO of Zwipe, said, “Response to our pilot with Sparebanken DIN has been very positive. Cardholders love how easy the card is to use with the added security feature. We have also had exceptionally good reaction from retailers participating in the pilot. This pilot enabled the partners to gather valuable customer feedback, experience and best practice for the enrollment and deployment phase.”
The technology may make it out to consumers sometime in 2015.