Card giant Mastercard is currently in talks with UK banks to launch biometric payment cards with in-built fingerprint scanners, which are used to verify customers’ identities.
The idea is to replace passwords and speed up both online payments and contactless transactions in shops and stores.
The move follows the European Union implementing the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in January this year, a regulation aimed at speeding up transactions and giving third-party firms access to banks? customer data so that they can build better products.
Under the new PSD2 rules, customers are required to confirm their identity every five times after they have made a contactless payment.
PSD2 has put banks and major financial services providers under intense pressure to improve their digital capability and make their data available to third-party developers. The banks compile huge amounts of financial data on a daily basis which could be used by third-party companies to develop improved products.
Mastercard said the biometric tech is currently being trialled in South Africa.
Ajay Bhalla, president of global enterprise risk and security at Mastercard, said: ‘The use of passwords to authenticate someone is woefully outdated, with consumers forgetting them and retailers facing abandoned shopping baskets.’
He continued: ‘In payments technology, this is something we?re closing in on as we move from cash to card, password to thumbprint, and beyond to innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence. It?s far easier to authenticate with a thumbprint or a selfie, and it?s safer too.’
The use of biometric forms of payment like fingerprint sensors and eye-scanning technology is also expected to help improve financial security and tackle fraud.
TSB already announced last year that it was working to be the first bank to use iris identification.
Mastercard’s main rival Visa is also understood to be testing biometric cards in Cyprus.