Depending on the country you are in and the regulations, how your credit card’s security is handled might be different. For example some places might require you to just sign whenever you pay, other places will allow users to use NFC in their credit cards to tap against the terminal to make a payment, and sometimes a PIN is required.
However all of that could soon be replaced by biometric security in the form of fingerprint scanning. Mastercard appears to be leading that charge by launching a credit card with a fingerprint scanner over in South Africa where the system is being tested. As you can see in the photo above, all users have to do is hold their thumb/finger against the scanner and insert it into the terminal in order to verify themselves, after which the payment will proceed as usual.
The company is looking to expand its trial and will be bringing the technology to markets in Europe and Asia, and eventually they are also planning on introducing a contactless version. The contactless version should function similarly to mobile payments such as Apple Pay where users have to authenticate themselves via fingerprint while holding their phones against the terminal.
According to Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard’s head of security, “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”