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First credit card developed with fingerprint sensor

Zwipe Mastercard arrives

Cashless payment without PIN and without signature: Mastercard, together with the Norwegian company Zwipe, is developing a credit card with a biometric sensor.

The owner is to be recognized by fingerprint in the future.

More security and convenience when paying with the credit card Mastercard promises to customers with the Zwipe Mastercard.

On the credit card, the owner’s fingerprint is stored in a security module.

When a fingerprint scanner is used, the fingerprints are compared and the user is verified.

Thanks to a built-in biometrics sensor, the card also allows for non-contact payments via the local radio standard NFC.

For this purpose, the user touches the fingerprint sensor of the card.

The data are transferred to the payment terminal via NFC.

The card does not need its own current source: the electricity is to be obtained via the radio waves of the terminals used for payment.

Pilot project in Norway was positive

The Zwipe Mastercard is scheduled to come on the market in 2015, but only in Great Britain.

At the moment, Zwipe is still working on implementing Mastercard’s standard card format.

According to Zwipe, a first pilot project was positive.

The card was tested by customers of Norwegian sparbanks. Zwipe CEO Kim Humborstad told the British magazine Forbes: “The card owners were enthusiastic about how easy the card can be used with the sensor.” Humborstad also describes the reactions of the dealers as positive.

The technology, which uses the Mastercard Zwipe, is the same, with which also the just presented Apple Pay works.

However, Zwipe does not see itself as a competition. “I think Apple has prepared the consumers with its biometric technology and opened up companies like us,” said Humborstad.

Fingerprints can also be falsified

The storage and use of biometric data is not new: for example, when entering the US, when applying for a new ID card, or when opening an account, they have been recorded for some time.

Fingerprints are considered individual and forgery-proof, unlike signatures and passwords or PINs.

The fact that the fingerprint also does not offer 100% security, the Chaos Computer Club showed shortly after the introduction of the Touch ID on the iPhone 5s.

With the help of a computer, a laser printer, wood glue and an overhead film, the computer freaks produced a copy of a fingerprint that unlocked the smartphone without any problems.

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