MasterCard and Zwipe Partner in Biometric Card

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MasterCard will launch a biometric card with partner Zwipe, a Norwegian startup, to incorporate security and EMV features. The cards will be the first with the technologies combined for cardholder protection. The authentication steps will make attempted hacking of cardholder data a waste of thieves’ time.
Biometrics authentication may cause criminals to resort to stalking and assault to gain access to secured property. Yet, foreign hacks and domestic cyber criminals will be limited by the efforts of the card makers. Millions of individuals’ private information has been recently breached causing some people to resort to using currency while shopping.

The new card has EMV, an acronym of Europay’ International, MasterCard and Visa. It was implemented to increase security standards in 1994. EMV is a way to prevent fraud by moving away from the magnetic-strip to smart chip technology. It will become the industry standard in the U.S. in Nov. 2015. Some merchants have not upgraded their card terminals to accommodate the technology change, while expressing reluctance and fears of system complications. The new smart cards hold encrypted data making cloning impossible.

BioMetric Cards are here to stay since partners MasterCard and Zwipe are seeing to it. The U.S. is one of the last economic powerhouses to protect its’ financial sector with the EMV technology. This is probably due to world reliance on the U.S. dollar and financial reporting. Conversions have been completed in other countries without problems and the transaction industry leader Digital Transaction even has a countdown clock on its’ website.

The man hours defending financial data has certainly taken a toll on security experts and computer programmers. It is like a game of cat and mouse. Close a breach in the system and a new back door is kicked in by hackers, sometimes overnight. Incalculable losses are incurred by companies that fall victim to hacking. Rarely do customers express their fears. The customer just stops shopping at certain stores or buys with available cash. Retailers and other businesses want people to use credit and debit cards at the register because their use increases sales volumes according to many studies.

The Biometric cards are expected to be on the market by Nov, 2015 in coordination with new EMV terminals according to MasterCard and Zwipe. The cards will recharge from energy provide by undated terminals and do not need a battery. Mr. Ajay Bhalla, President of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard commented: “Safety and security in everyday payments is at the heart of MasterCard’s business. We will continue to work with innovators, like Zwipe, to ensure we stay ahead of fraudsters and provide a seamless payment experience, as ultimately it is consumers who decide how they choose to pay.” Mr. Bhalla’s assurances to their cardholders should carry a lot of weight, since the global company does not want to have their cards cloned.

MasterCard and Zwipe, the partners of the new card, evidently timed the announcement of the BioMetric Card because President Obama recently expressed the same concerns with regard to consumer safety. The President signed an Executive Order on the matter of requiring the EMV change and identity theft. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has requested “Buy Secure” measures to eliminate magnetic cards from the industry. After numerous large retailers were hacked exposing consumers’ data the measures can not be implemented fast enough.

By Oliver L. Malcom, Jr.

Photo By Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion  Flickr License

Photo By Ciaran McGuiggan  Flickr License


MasterCard Press Release


Washington Post

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