Chip and PIN? Chip and fingerprint sensor from here on in…

Chip and PIN? Chip and fingerprint sensor from here on in…

April 21 2017 | Published by Jennifer Bullock | Blog

Remember when we all got contactless cards without being consulted? The same is now happening with fingerprint sensor credit cards.

Mastercard have unveiled a credit card which is verified via a fingerprint sensor inbuilt into the card.

Mastercard successfully trailed the credit card in South Africa, and is now preparing for the larger launch.

The technology has been developed in the same way as the mobile payment method we have incorporated into our lives!

The user must have their fingerprint over the sensor whilst making the purchase.

The changes have been implemented as Mastercards chief of security, Ajay Bhalla, stated the technology would help;

"to deliver additional convenience and security. It is not something that can be taken or replicated."

Now the debate begins…

Berlin's Security Research Labs have highlighted the fact that fingerprint sensors can be compromised.

Karsten Nohl, chief scientist at the security labs, has argued against Mastercards latest invention can be easily hacked-

  "All I need is a glass or something you have touched in the past. You only have nine fingerprint changes before you run out of options".

Although, Nohl then appeared cautiously optimistic about the new technology;

"Better than what we have at the moment. With the combination of chip and PIN, the PIN is the weaker element. Using a fingerprint gets rid of that. Fingerprints have helped us avoid using terrible passwords, and even the most gullible person is not going to cut off their finger if [a criminal] asks nicely."

Now whilst all these men are pondering over the pros and cons of the fingerprint sensor card. I, as a 5"3, 50kg woman, have some reservations over the card…

My stubbornness outweighs my physical strength (stick with me here), therefore knowing a PIN in my head compared with somebodies physical ability to force payment out of me does not fill me with confidence.

Despite being a young independent woman and having no qualms over my ability to equal any man, physical strength (at my mere size) is a ball park I will simply never be on a level playing ground in. Therefore, forcing my hand (literally) to access my money would be a very real issue for me with this card.

I know, highly unlikely and improbable, but it is a funny old world we live in.

The card itself uses both a digital template of the users fingerprint and a sensor- used to read and cross reference their finger print at point of sale.

In comparison to previous biometric payment cards, Mastercard are cutting edge as this card is the first to have fingerprint scanner included rather than a separate entity.

Meaning that this card, once distributed, can be used at any store. Rather than just the branches which has the appropriate technology to accept them.

This also means that there should be no technological issues with implementing them, as by having both the data and scanner on the same card, they should be widely accepted.

The other implications one has to consider when storing fingerprints is that once they are hacked. You're stuffed.

From: Credit card with a fingerprint sensor revealed by Mastercard
A payment card featuring a fingerprint sensor has been unveiled by credit card provider Mastercard. The rollout follows two successful trials in South Africa. The technology works in the same way as it does with mobile phone payments: users must have their finger over the sensor when making a purchase

From the BBC