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OZ Retailers Set To Use New Mastercard Biometric Payment System

OZ Retailers Set To Use New Mastercard Biometric Payment System

One of the new ways to pay is set to be introduced by Mastercard who have teamed up with Zwipe to combine fingerprint authentication and contactless payments via a new card called the Zwipe MasterCard.

 Where the new card is different from the the standard credit or debit card is in the payment process whgich uses biometrics to approve purchases. The Zwipe MasterCard uses authentication via fingerprint for MasterCard contactless payment terminals, while retaining Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chips on cards.

The announcement is calling the card “the world’s first biometric contactless payment card,” making use of an integrated fingerprint sensor to authorize all transactions. This removes the need for a PIN number, while also removing transaction limits that are in place for contactless payments. The new card uses Zwipe’s secure authentication technology, holding all of the biometric information inside the card. No information is reported back to MasterCard, nor is it held in a central database on a phone or offsite.

“Our belief is that we should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers. Biometric authentication can help us achieve this,” said MasterCard President of Enterprise Security Solutions Ajay Bhalla. “However, our challenge is to ensure the technology offers robust security, simplicity of use and convenience for the customer. Zwipe’s first trial is a significant milestone and its results are very encouraging.”

The two companies ran a pilot test of the program in Norway with Sparebanken DIN, a member of the banking alliance Eika Gruppen. 

As a result of the successful trial, Sparebanken DIN announced that it would use the contactless payment and biometric authentication method on all cards. Morten Danielsen, business development director for Sparebanken DIN, said it “combines convenience and security for both our cardholders and merchants.”

There could be some concerns with the card, such as what would happen if the battery suddenly died. While the prototype card has its own internal battery, lending to its thickness, Zwipe says it’s attempting to solve the problem. A new version of the card is in the works that’s fashioned in the same format as cards consumers hold now. Instead of the battery design, Zwipe is having the card draw power from the payment terminal to use the sensor. Zwipe says that the new card will be “designed to work with all payment terminals.”

No specific launch date is set for the Zwipe MasterCard, but it is said to be out at some point in 2015. The card will initally launch in Europe frollowed by Australia.