Natwest has become the first UK bank to launch a biometric credit card that allows contactless payments using a fingerprint for verification. The cards have entered into circulation today as part of a three-month trial with 150 customers. It comes after a successful trial of biometric debit cards. The biometric cards will offer contactless payments using fingerprint verification for transactions of up to £100, an increase on the current £30 limit. The new cards are compatible with existing chip and pin machines, and can also be used at ATMs and for online shopping.
Natwest said it is working with Mastercard and digital security company Gemalto to bring the service to all customers in the UK. “After the successful pilot of our biometric debit card we are looking to test the technology further with credit cards,” said Georgina Bulkeley, director of innovation at Natwest. “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.”
Once a digital fingerprint has been locked into a card, it cannot be changed. Natwest said the user’s biometric data never leaves the card, nor is it shared with the merchant or bank.
Bob Reany, Executive Vice President for identity solutions at Mastercard, said: “Feeling confident that your information is protected is paramount. “We, along with our partners, are building biometric cards that recognize 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.”
Re-disseminated by SINGFIN