MasterCard and Zwipe Partner for Contactless Card with Fingerprint Sensor

zwipeBiometrics company Zwipe and MasterCard have teamed up to launch a contactless payment card that features an integrated fingerprint sensor.

The launch follows a successful live pilot with Norwegian bank Sparebanken, and aims to answer the complex challenge of providing a fast, convenient payment solution that does not compromise on security.

The card includes an integrated biometric sensor and Zwipe secure biometric authentication technology the holds the cardholders biometric data for comparison. It also contains an EMV certified secure element, and MasterCards contactless application.

The card is the first of its kind to combine biometric authentication with contactless payment, all within the card itself. The fingerprint scan replaces the PIN entry, enabling cardholders to make payments of any amount, unlike other contactless payment cards which usually limit transactions to a set amount.

Currently the card requires a battery, but Zwipe are working on a next generation model that will be the same format as a standard card, will work with all payment terminals and will harvest energy from them to maintain its charge. The new model will be released in 2015.

“Our belief is that we should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard. “Biometric authentication can help us achieve this. However, our challenge is to ensure the technology offers robust security, simplicity of use and convenience for the customer. Zwipes first trial is a significant milestone and its results are very encouraging.”