Mastercard took a big step forward in payment card technology this week with its announcement of a remote enrolment solution for biometrics. Developed in partnership with biometrics specialist IDEX, the system is designed to let cardholder register their fingerprints remotely, without the need to go into a bank. That means those who take advantage of Mastercard’s biometric payment cards – when they become available – won’t need to make any special effort to activate them, at least not much beyond what’s normally required for a new credit card.
For those involved in the payments industry, this is important news. For those completely outside of it, it might be something of a shock, with many asking, ‘Wait, what are biometric payment cards?’ But that just reflects the rapid pace at which this technology is emerging, with the frenzy of activity from last year having continued over recent months and weeks. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on:
Biometrics specialists are intensifying their efforts to develop the technology:
Trials are underway and partnerships are falling into place:
And this is just the latest phase in the long evolution of payment authentication: