Visa Introduces Biometric Credit Card
At the National Retail Federation Big Show, Visa announced plans to launch a credit card that would allow shoppers to authenticate payments with their fingerprint instead of using a signature or PIN.
To use fingerprint authentication, shoppers will swipe, insert or tap their cards to make payments. Then, they will place their finger on the sensor, and the print will be compared to their previously enrolled fingerprint. Since fingerprints are unique, the company says it will be harder for unauthorized users to steal someone’s card and use it.
Additionally, Visa says the cards will work at current payment terminals, so no new hardware is required.
A study conducted by Visa found consumers are interested in using biometric technology. More than 65% of consumers are familiar with biometrics, and 86% are interested in using it to make payments.
Visa is working with Bank of Cyprus and Mountain America Credit Union as a part of the pilot program to introduce the technology.
While biometric authentication sounds good in theory, this is not a fail safe solution to identity theft.
Biometrics would make it more difficult for someone to use a stolen credit card, but unless the fingerprint was required, someone could still just use the card and authenticate payment with a forged signature. Additionally, biometric technology would do nothing to protect consumers if a payment system is hacked. Thieves could still access the POS system, steal credit card details and then sell this information on the Dark Web or use it themselves.
Due to these issues, mobile wallets are a more secure way to pay for purchases.