MasterCard Partners with Zwipe on Biometric Contactless Card

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

Global card giant network, MasterCard has announced a newpartnership with Norwegian firm Zwipe to launch a contactless payment card witha built-in fingerprint sensor. According to the announcement, the new biometriccard will store cardholder fingerprint data directly on the card and the authenticationreplaces the PIN entry, thus enabling cardholders to make payments over andabove the low-value limits typically applied to contactless payment transactions.

According to Zwipe, a standard card will be released in 2015and will be designed to work with all payment terminals as the card requiresenergy to provide the biometric authentication but by harvesting energy from theterminals, it will not require a battery.

Commenting on the partnership, Kim Humborstad, founder andCEO of Zwipe said, “Response to our pilot with Sparebanken DIN has been verypositive. Cardholders love how easy the card is to use with the added securityfeature. We have also had exceptionally good reaction from retailersparticipating in the pilot. This pilot enabled the partners to gather valuablecustomer feedback, experience and best practice for the enrolment anddeployment phase.”

Following a successful live pilot with Norway’s SparebankenDIN, Zwipe is poised to take advantage of industry interest in biometrictechnology. However, whether the company is successful depends on whether banksare going to be interested in spending the additional money on each card forthis feature.


Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group

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