A UK bank is testing the use of debit cards with a built-in fingerprint scanner. The trial will include 200 customers when it begins in mid-April of 2019.
This will allow its participants in the UK to use “contactless” cards without needing to input a PIN or offer a signature.
Currently, you can make a contactless payment in the UK by tapping your debit card on the terminal to make a payment.
There is a limit of £30 limit attached to these payments because of the high-security risks involved with such transactions. But there will not be such limits attached to the fingerprint readable cards.
The fingerprint data is stored locally on the card, so there are low-security risks. The information for a hacker to be able to steal from a bank’s central database will not be accessible.
However, it does not go without its own risks. Though a thief could steal and imitate the fingerprint, it is much more secure than a PIN that someone could learn by looking over your shoulder as you enter it. Making mobile payments using these cards will require bio-metric authentication. Typically, the card will require users to visit a bank rather than be able to carry out mobile payments at home.
In Nigeria, this sort of high tech security will be very welcome.