New Mastercards Might Have a Built-in Fingerprint Scanner

Apr 20, 2017

Your new Mastercard may have a built-in fingerprint scanner, the company announced Thursday.

Currently, Mastercard is testing what it calls the "next-generation biometric card" in South Africa. In addition to a PIN and chip, a scanner will also be included so users can authenticate each of their purchases. What's more, the new card is supposedly no thicker than current credit and debit cards are.

How it works: According to the company, cardholder must enroll their card by registering with their financial institution. After registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. Then cardholders can use the card at any EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) card terminal globally.

"Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security," Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard, said in the announcement.

The company may hold additional trials in Asia and Europe for later this year.

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