MasterCard has finally taken care of all the people who keep forgetting their PIN codes every time they have to pay with their credit card. One of the largest credit card providers has launched a new format of a credit card payment technology featuring a biometric fingerprint sensor.
Fingerprint Sensor Replaces Traditional 4-Digit PIN Code
The newest innovation in the world of credit card payment does not require entering a 4-digit PIN (personal identification number). Instead, a sign of verification is the credit card user’s fingerprint. At some point, such a payment system resembles mobile phone payments, for instance, Apply Pay requiring Touch ID to make a purchase.
After two successful trials in the South African local bank and a retailer shop, MasterCard is planning to expand this technology in other areas of Europe and Asia this year. The corporation is also working on a contactless version to speed up small payment transactions (under £30) as they won’t require PIN codes at all.
Fingerprint VS Digits: What is Safer?
Verification with the owner’s fingerprints is already recognized as a safer and easier way to prove your identity than a four-digit PIN progenitor. The latter remains unreliable because the code can be easily guessed and stolen.
Ajay Bhalla, the company’s chief of safety and security, convinces that the fingerprint technology “delivers additional convenience and security. It is not something that can be taken or replicated.”
Should we trust his word completely? Well, broad experience of Apple Pay and Android Pay throughout these past years showed that fingerprint scanner technology has its own drawbacks as well.
For example, researchers from New York University and Michigan State University created universal “master fingerprints” that had easily tricked up to 65% of all smartphone scanners. Herewith, there were cases when frauds created copies of the owner’s fingers based on high-definition pictures of those fingers.
Many experts are calling in question whether such an innovative credit card technology is better and secure than its progenitor. According to Karsten Nohl, a chief scientist at Berlin’s Security Research Labs, it’s easy to replicate a person’s fingerprint: you just need a glass or something a person has touched in the past. “And you already have 9 tries to trick the sensor before you run out of options” – he adds.
Also, read about how smartphones can replace credit cards.
Nevertheless, Nohl seems to be on the side of new technology, saying that PIN code is something we have to get rid of because it’s more of a weaker element. “With the help of fingerprints, we are no longer dependent on passwords. While people can reveal their PIN codes under pressure of any criminal, even the most vulnerable one won’t cut off his finger.”
Technology Available In Any Place
The best thing about the new fingerprint scanner is that there won’t be any issues with accepting such credit cards in the stores where they normally use chip and PIN payment system.
This is the first technology that can work on the existing chip- and PIN reading equipment, which means store owners don’t need to purchase any additional hardware. Previously, however, you could use a biometric credit card in a store that had a separate fingerprint scanner.
It’s worth remembering that fingerprint verification is yet available only in regular stores. If you are going to make purchases online, you will need to go through the other security measures.