French trial of contactless biometric payment cards announced

French multinational bank Société Générale has announced a biometric payment card trial it says is the country’s first, in collaboration with IDEMIA, and leveraging Fingerprint Cards’ T-Shape fingerprint sensor module.

The bank is considering removing the cap on contactless payments, currently set at €30 in France, based on the stronger customer authentication provided by biometrics, according to the announcement. Goode Intelligence noted in a recent report that the ability to use contactless cards for higher value transactions is one of the potential drivers which it predicts will lead to the use of biometrics for payments by 2.6 billion people by 2023.

The T-Shape module, which is part of the ultra-thin FPC1300 series, and the company says it has ultra-low power consumption and provides superior biometric performance working with standard contactless POS terminals.

Société Générale also introduced biometric online account opening in August. The new announcement is the first for IDEMIA since Yann Delabrière was appointed to replace Didier Lamouche as CEO.

Contactless smart cards are one of the three market segments Fingerprint Cards identified as target areas following its appearance at 2018 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, and the company’s FPC1300 series sensors and IDEMIA’s F.CODE solution were used in Japan’s first biometric payment card trial, which launched earlier this year.

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