Fin­ger­print read­ing cards ‘by end of year’

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Money - James Con­ning­ton

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.

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