MasterCard and Zwipe have announced the launch of the world’s first contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor for enhanced security.
The launch of the card comes after a successful live pilot conducted with Norway’s Sparebanken DIN (which is aligned to the Eika Group) as an answer to the complex challenge of providing a fast, convenient payment solution that doesn’t compromise security.
The Zwipe MasterCard payment card is the world’s first fingerprint-authenticated contactless payment card. The solution includes an integrated biometric sensor and the Zwipe secure biometric authentication technology that holds the cardholder’s biometric data. It also contains an EMV-certified secure element and MasterCard’s contactless application.
The card is the first of its kind to combine the security of biometric authentication with the speed and convenience of contactless payment. Cardholder fingerprint data is stored directly on the card rather than an external database. Following activation by a simple fingerprint scan, the Zwipe MasterCard card can then be used to make contactless payments.
Biometric authentication replaces the PIN entry, thus enabling cardholders to make payments totalling any amount.
Zwipe is now working on the next generation of its card for release in 2015. This will be the same format as a standard card and designed to operate with all payment terminals. The new card will “harvest energy from the payment terminals” without the need for a battery.
Eliminating passwords and PIN numbers
Speaking about this significant launch, Ajay Bhalla (president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard) commented: “Our belief is that we should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers. Biometric authentication can help us achieve that end goal. However, our challenge is to ensure the technology offers robust security, simplicity of use and convenience for the end customer. Zwipe’s first trial represents a significant milestone. The results are very encouraging.”
Bhalla continued: “Safety and security in everyday payment is at the heart of MasterCard’s business. We will continue to work with innovators such as Zwipe to ensure that we remain ahead of the fraudsters and provide a seamless payment experience. Ultimately, it’s consumers who decide how they choose to pay.”
Kim Humborstad, founder and CEO of Zwipe, added: “Feedback from our pilot with Sparebanken DIN has been very positive. Cardholders love how easy the card is to use with the added security feature. We have also received exceptionally good feedback from retailers participating in the pilot. This trial enabled the partners to gather valuable customer feedback, experience and Best Practice for the enrolment and deployment phase.”
Morten Danielsen, business development director at Sparebanken DIN, explained: “We will offer biometric authentication and contactless communication for all our cards since it combines convenience and security for both our cardholders and merchants.”
Founded in 2009, Zwipe is a fast-growing company at the heart of what is a quickly evolving industry. Zwipe boasts a strong portfolio of Patent Applications and is continually developing them. The Zwipe product is based on an NFC (Near Field Communication) platform with no external database containing sensitive information as the fingerprint data is only stored inside the Zwipe card. To learn more about Zwipe visit: http://www.zwipe.com
MasterCard, of course, is a well-known technology company operating in the global payments industry. The organisation runs the world’s fastest payment processing network, in turn connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, Governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.
MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday activities – such as shopping, travelling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient.