MasterCard, one of the most popular debit card providers, has announced that fingerprint-scanning chip will be coming with its future debit cards. At present, when you are to use your MasterCard Debit Card in a payment processing machine, you would need to enter your PIN, after slotting in the card, to confirm the transaction. However, when the new generation MasterCard Debit Card arrives, your fingerprint would be required for payment.
The plan is that, aside the already placed chip on the card which is read by POS machines, a second chip that verifies the owner’s thumb-print would be embedded on the card. This doesn’t mean your PIN isn’t required again – – in fact, the fingerprint feature will serve as a form a two-factor authentication for the card usage.
With this new feature, you need not worry about your MasterCard Debit Card, if stolen or lost – – the thief or the founder would also need to steal your thumb before taking your money. This security advantage sounds good, but the main drawback to implementing this functionality is that you have to go to your bank to scan and integrate fingerprint with the card.
Aside the issue of going to bank to integrate the fingerprint, a major worry about the card is customers’ privacy, as the card will make banks to accumulate more customers’ biometric data. However, MasterCard has come out to clear this worry, saying when customers’ fingerprints are captured, they are converted into an encrypted data before being stored on the EMV chip of the MasterCard Debit Card; so you don’t need to worry about your bank adding up more data about you to its database.
The early rolling out of the new cards will start later this year, but first in Europe, Asia and South Africa – – other part of Africa and other continents will need to exercise patience before they would get the new cards.