Mastercard Develops Remote Fingerprint Scanning for Biometric Credit Cards
Earlier this week, Mastercard unveiled a new biometric card sleeve that allows users to register their fingerprints without visiting a bank branch. The sleeve scans the fingerprint through a battery-powered sensor, and then the fingerprint is permanently linked to the digital encryption on the card.
Mastercard is moving away from card security based on “what people know.” The company believes that forgetting a PIN or password should not prevent someone from using a card. Biometric technology, like fingerprint or iris scanning, turns the focus to physical attributes that are unique to each individual.
To complete the registration, Mastercard will send an enrollment kit in the mail separate from the biometric credit card. Mastercard hopes that this will “help speed adoption of biometrics by issuers and consumers alike.” The at-home approach also reduces the need for branch-based support, which lowers the company’s overhead costs.
The self-enrollment sleeve was developed by IDEX, a technology company based in Norway. It uses a large area sensor, so the fingers do not have to be in a perfect placement to register the fingerprints. IDEX says the registration can take place without a computer, smartphone, or internet connection. Everything happens directly on the card.