The rise of biometric bank cards

Biometric bank cards are quickly emerging as a possible new reality that could make their way to markets soon. The cards, which look and act much like traditional bank cards, offer an additional layer of identification by requiring that fingerprints confirm payments. For the cards to be used, power must be supplied to them (either built in or during communication with POS terminals) to read a fingerprint and compare it with stored authorized prints. The advantages of biometric cards are: increased security, removal of the limit on contactless payment amounts and reduced cases of card fraud and false chargebacks. The main disadvantage, at least right now, is that the each card can cost in excess of USD 20, as compared to USD 1-2 for regular chip cards.

While it remains to be seen exactly when, where and how these cards will be introduced, most experts predict that more half a million of them will be in use worldwide by 2023. With companies such as Mastercard, Zwipe, SmartMetric and Societe Generale testing their use, it seems that biometric bank cards are destined to become the new normal at some point in the next 5-10 years.