MasterCard’s newest credit card includes a fingerprint reader embedded in the actual card itself.
Cardholders can authorize payments with a simple touch of their finger, instead of using security measures like a PIN or a signature. The feature combines the popularity of mobile payments with the accessibility of biometric security features.
The card works at all existing readers that use a chip reader, but are not compatible with those solely equipped with the magnetic swipe.
Currently limited to a trial run exclusively in South Africa, MasterCard plans to expand to Europe and South-Asia in the coming months. A global release is planned for later this year, according to a press release.
Mastercard’s chief of security Ajay Bhalla claims fingerprints are a less vulnerable to being stolen or replicated, but that’s not exactly true. Copying a fingerprint can be done easily using some low-tech methods like Play-Doh and a dental mold, the Verge reports. Still, industry experts believe fingerprints are a more secure option than PINs.
To sign up, customers must visit a MasterCard enrollment center. Cardholders can scan up to two fingerprints, which are encrypted and stored on the card’s chip.