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MasterCard, First Tech FCU to pilot biometric identification program


First Tech Federal Credit Union and MasterCard will introduced a pilot program later this year that enables First Tech FCU members to authorize their financial transactions via biometric identification, according to a report by Credit Union Times.

“We are extremely pleased that MasterCard has chosen to partner with First Tech to pilot new payment methods,” said Terry Rodrick, vice president of cards and payments at First Tech. “Biometrics may seem very James Bond- like but the reality is fraudsters are very clever and resourceful. Our membership is technology based so I think we have the perfect population to really kick the tires and pressure test new ways of making purchases.”

The companies have an existing relationship, as First Tech signed MasterCard on as its official payment solutions provider for the credit union’s 380,000 members.

As an extension of this agreement, First Tech will issue new credit and debit cards with embedded EMV technology as a safety measure against identity theft.

The credit union will also introduce new features and functions in the future, which includes a new rewards program, card personalization and tokenization programs.

First Tech will announce more details about the project as the program progresses, said Rodrick.

MasterCard said the biometric identification process will use a combination of facial and voice recognition and fingerprint matching.

The pilot will likely use First Tech employees as potential Beta testers, but First Tech will still need to figure out the “right number and types of scenarios to validate in the marketplace,” said Rodrick.

The companies announced the pilot program in conjunction with MasterCard plans to invest more than $20 million in cybersecurity-related technologies for cardholders, merchants and issuing financial institutions, including the upcoming spring launch of MasterCard Safety Net in the U.S. Safety Net.

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