MasterCard and Zwipe launch first contactless, fingerprint payment card

MasterCard has partnered with Norwegian startup Zwipe to launch a contactless payment card that has an fingerprint authentication sensor. This is the first card to combine biometric security authentication with contactless payment technology.

This may be a solution to the challenge of finding a payment option that does not compromise security.

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MasterCard and Zwipe have announced their partnership for the launch of the world’s first contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor.
MasterCard and Zwipe have announced their partnership for the launch of the world’s first contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor.

"We should be able to identify ourselves without having to use passwords or PIN numbers. Biometric authentication can help us achieve this. However, our challenge is to ensure the technology offers robust security, simplicity of use, and convenience for the customer," Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard, said in a statement.

Cardholder fingerprint data are stored directly on the card, not in an external database. The fingerprint would replace the need for a PIN number entry.

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The launch of the card comes after a successful live pilot with Norway's Sparebanken DIN.

"Cardholders love how easy the card is to use with the added security feature," said Kim Humborstad, founder and CEO of Zwipe. "We have also had exceptionally good reaction from retailers participating in the pilot."

Zwipe is now working on another card that will work with all payment terminals, expected to be released in 2015.