Fingerprint reading cards ‘by end of year’
Debit cards that are able to store and read fingerprints in place of a PIN could be in customers’ wallets by the end of the year.
Account holders will authorise payments by placing their finger on the sensor while paying. The aim is to make transactions faster and more secure, as the current PIN system has a number of glaring security holes.
The cards, which are expected to work with all existing payment systems, draw the power the sensor requires from card machines themselves.
Idex Biometrics, a fingerprint sensor developer, has been working with Mastercard on the system. Its chief executive, Stan Swearingen, said he expected millions of the cards to be issued by 2019.
Fingerprint sensors are not without security concerns of their own. Last year researchers in New York claimed to have developed a set of “master fingerprints” that were able to trick sensors.