Mastercard Could Add Fingerprint Reader to Credit Cards

Apr 21, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The days of verifying your credit card purchases with a PIN or signature could be numbered. This week, Mastercard unveiled new technology that’ll verify the cardholder’s identity with something as simple as their fingerprint.

The embedded biometric technology is the first of its kind on a credit card. The tool will allow the cardholder to register and enroll their fingerprint, which is then encrypted and stored on the card. Once enrolled, the cardholder will be able to insert their chip card into a standard reader and place their thumb on the biometric reader, which will scan the fingerprint and authorize the purchase — no PIN or signature required.

mastercard3
Image courtesy of Mastercard.

So far, this biometric feature has been trialled at two locations in South Africa, and Mastercard plans to test it out over the next few months in Europe and Asia Pacific. The company plans to launch the fingerprint feature in full later this year through issuers that choose to offer the technology.

As for the security of it all, according to the BBC, security experts say that while fingerprints are not foolproof, they’re a “sensible” use of biometric technology. There is currently technology that incorporates the use of a fingerprint, however, it’s offered on a separate scanner, meaning a store would need to have an external device in place in order for the customer to use it. This new concept from Mastercard would allow cardholders to scan their fingerprint right from their own card — no separate device required at the point of purchase.

mastercard2
Image courtesy of Mastercard.

Mastercard says the new fingerprint scanning technology can be used at EMV terminals around the world — that is, when the product is rolled out and issuers sign on to include it as a feature on their cards.

Earlier this year, Visa shared a prototype of the future with wearable payment coming in the form of in sunglasses. Mastercard has already been in the market for “payment of the future,” too. Last year, the company announced that it could begin to offer “selfie pay,” which would allow cardholders to take a picture of themselves in order to authenticate a purchase.

Featured image courtesy of Mastercard.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.