Credit cards will soon be readily available that are activated by fingerprints. Biometrics company Zwipe has invented a way to make the lives of credit card users easier by making fingerprint activated credit cards a reality. Memorizing PINs could become quickly a thing of the past with this new invention.
Zwipe and MasterCard announced that they were teamed up in this enterprise. The credit cards will require no contact with a machine and will reportedly improve the security of people who use the cards. All it will take to activate the new credit cards is the fingerprint of the user and a swipe above the credit card terminal.
There are contactless credit cards right now, but they come with a limit to how much someone can purchase to lessen the risk of thieves stealing the cards and running up huge purchases. However, the credit limit can detract from the usefulness of the cards for people who use them.
By contrast, the fingerprint activated credit cards that Zwipe have dreamed up in collaboration with MasterCard work only if the thumbprint of the user is pressed up against a biometric scanner square. Gone will be the necessity of entering in a PIN, and there will not be a limit to the transactions a person can make using them, according to Zwipe.
Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard, has recognized the significance of the fingerprint activated credit cards by his statement that people should not have “to use passwords or PIN numbers” in order “to identify ourselves.”
Also, if there are not any contactless credit card terminals available, the new fingerprint activated cards can be used as a chip card. The cards do not require batteries, either. Instead, the credit cards will be able to use the energy of the payment terminals to function.
The fingerprint activated cards that Zwipe has invented will potentially revolutionize the credit card industry. Zwipe and MasterCard do not collect or store the fingerprint data in any external database. Rather, the data is stored directly on the credit cards.
These new fingerprint activated credit cards could become available to consumers as early as in 2015. The new cards will reportedly make it more difficult for thieves to run up huge bills but it will not help users pay off their own debts, just make it even easier to run them up higher than ever before.
The good news about the fingerprint activated cards are that they will be easy to use, will not require memorizing PINs, do not require batteries, will not limit the purchases users can make and will presumably improve the security of people who use them over traditional chip cards. Also, the fingerprints of users will not get stored in external databases. These biometric cards invented by Zwipe have already undergone a successful trial in Norway and will be coming to America sometime in 2015.
The pre-approved thumbprint stored on the credit cards must be activated or the card cannot be used. These biometric cards will likely be a big hit…until hackers discover a method to read the data stored on the cards, anyway, and find out a way to recreate the fingerprints of users.
Written By Douglas Cobb