NatWest is set to release the first biometric fingerprint credit card issued by a UK bank in a three-month national trial.
In partnership with Mastercad and Gemalto, 150 customers have been selected to take part in the pilot. The biometric credit cards will offer contactless payments using fingerprint verification for transactions up to £100 ($123). A green light on the card indicates that the fingerprint has been matched successfully.
NatWest had previously trialled biometric debit cards. The card can be used as normal in ATMs and for online shopping. Also, there are no hardware changes needed to accept biometric cards, so cardholders can use them at existing Chip-and-PIN terminals.
Enrolment is quick and can take only five minutes. However, once a digital fingerprint is locked onto a card, it cannot be changed.
The user’s biometric data does not leave the card and is not shared with merchants or the bank.
Georgina Bulkeley, director of innovation, NatWest said: “After the successful pilot of our biometric debit card we are looking to test the technology further with credit cards. This is the biggest development in card technology in recent years and not having to enter a PIN not only increases security but makes it easier for our customers when paying for goods or services.”
Bob Reany, executive vice president, Identity Solutions, Mastercard added: “Feeling confident that your information is protected is paramount. We, along with our partners, are building biometric cards that recognise an individual rather than a password or PIN. Biometrics are more secure, more trusted and better suited to a world that requires more frequent authentication.”
Howard Berg, senior vice president, UK Ireland and Switzerland of Gemalto, a Thales Company, said: “Biometric have a big role in the future of payments and we’re pleased that more NatWest customers will be the first to try out this simple, convenient and secure way to pay. Authenticating payments with a fingerprint isn’t just easy – it boosts security and opens the door to larger contactless payments. We’ll work very closely with NatWest as the trial progresses to address feedback from users and make sure they’re getting the best experience possible.”