Will Fingerprint Readers on a Payment Card Be the Next Big Thing?

by Tim Sloane 0

Putting a fingerprint reader on a payment card is technically feasible now, as was indicated earlier by MasterCard’s trial in South Africa in May and now with the recent press release from Zwipe:

“Smart cards continue to be the latest battleground for the fingerprint sensor integration wars, and payment applications are the popular use case fueling the fire. Two new orders of Zwipe’s biometric payment card solution, announced by the company last week, serve as evidence of how quickly things have heated up in the fingerprint smart card space.

While Zwipe has not named either of its new payment card clients, the company referred to them as “and undisclosed customer in Asia,” and “a global tier-1 card manufacturer,” respectively. Both new clients are expected to deploy the smart cards before year’s end.

Zwipe’s commercialization news came within days of MeReal’s biometric card deployment in an open air casino. MeReal’s V2 card features biometrics tech courtesy of Fingerprint Cards and Precise Biometrics, and while it is currently only used in physical access and time tracking capacities, payment applications are in the pipeline.”

Issuers in the US have resisted the extra expense of adding NFC onto existing EMV cards and so while an issuer of a high end portfolio might see its way clear to add fingerprints as a differentiator, it is unlikely fingerprint readers in payment cards will see huge adoption more broadly in the US anytime soon.

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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