MasterCard Tests Prototype Contactless Payment Card that Senses Fingerprint

MasterCard Tests Prototype Contactless Payment Card that Senses Fingerprint
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What's This?

zwipe%20card MasterCard Tests Prototype Contactless Payment Card that Senses FingerprintMasterCard has demonstrated the use of a contactless payment card that was developed with built-in fingerprint sensor. The revolutionary card can possibly authorize high-value transactions without the usual requirement for the user to provide a personal identification number (PIN).


The global credit card firm officially unveiled this prototype in London. The company was assisted by Norwegian technology group Zwipe, which developed the new fingerprint recognition technology that was used in the contactless payment card.

This new card features an integrated fingerprint sensor with secured data storage for the biometric data of the cardholder. Take note that the information is held primarily on the card instead of in an external database.

Unique features

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The contactless payment card contains an EMV chip, which is typical in most European payment cards that skip magnetic strip to bolster data security. It also comes with the unique MasterCard application that facilitates contactless payment transactions.

However, the prototype card that was recently unveiled is noticeably thicker than any regular payment card. This is because it accommodates a built-in batter. But there is no need to worry about bulkiness. Zwipe assured that it would eventually eliminate battery through tapping energy from the compatible contactless payment terminals. When the new contactless card is released in 2015, it would be as thin as your standard credit or debit cards.

Setting no limits

Moreover, the new Zwipe card would have no limitation on contactless payment transactions. This could be attributed to the secure fingerprint authentication. In comparison, other contactless payment cards can be used only for payments not exceeding €25 (around $32).

Apparently, MasterCard aims to make its cardholders able to authenticate transactions without the usual usage of PINs and passwords. It admitted that while biometric authentication could make it possible, achieving simplicity in use while retaining security is a real challenge.

Meanwhile, this is not the only technology that intends to facilitate fingerprint authentication for MasterCard transactions. Apple Inc’s Apple Pay, which would go live on October 20, would come sooner than the Zwipe card in the US. It would facilitate cardless transactions using iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or iPhone 5S.