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January 5, 2018

Gemalto banks on biometrics with contactless fingerprint card

Could this design mark the beginning of a widespread uptake of biometric technology for payments?

By Tom Ball

Digital security provider, Gemalto, has released a contactless credit card that incorporates a fingerprint reader for authentication, aiming to enhance security with biometric technology.

Gemalto is pushing to be the first to launch a card of this kind, intending to streamline the process by replacing PIN numbers that must be remembered and can be stolen.

The Bank of Cyprus chose Gemalto to deliver the biometric contactless card, and while taking a cutting edge approach to payments, the card will remain compatible with existing terminals across the country.

Gemalto banks on biometrics with contactless fingerprint card

Sensors will be used to scan the customer’s fingerprint, connecting to recognition technology that will compare the reading with the data stored in the card. The innovative approach is intended to enhance efficiency as well as security.

Bertrand Knopf, vice president of Banking and Payment, Gemalto, said: “Bank of Cyprus customers will be first in the world to enjoy biometric convenience on a contactless payment card. Gemalto’s biometric sensor payment card is designed to provide maximum security and data privacy… Using biometrics for contactless payments is a natural move as it fits in naturally with the gesture used to pay. It allows a better user experience, enabling higher transaction amounts without entering a PIN while benefiting from the convenience of contactless.”

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Customers of the Bank of Cyprus will have to enrol to set up the capability at a branch of the bank via a tablet, a step that Gemalto believes will further enhance the security of the process. The data of the fingerprint will be stored only on the card.

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Stelios Trachonitis, Card Centre Manager, Bank of Cyprus, said: “In order to bring seamless authentication to the banking sector, Gemalto has leveraged its extensive expertise from secure government documents and leadership in biometric applications… Our customers will benefit from this innovative payment solution with the peace of mind that their biometric data never leaves their hands.”

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