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Secure Technology Alliance publishes white paper to explain biometric payment cards


With interest growing in fingerprint-based biometric payment cards, The Secure Technology Alliance has published an introductory resource for card issuers, issuer processors, payment networks and merchants to explain the business case, impact, and considerations for deploying the technology.

The free “Biometric Payment Cards” (PDF) white paper is a sixteen-page document written by The Secure Technology Alliance Payments Council, which includes representatives from the largest payment network providers, along with Gemalto, IDEMIA, Infineon Technologies, Entrust Datacard, NXP Semiconductors, and other companies. It notes the main advantages of the technology, and points out that the cost of implementation has shifted to issuers or cardholders. It also covers enrollment methods, the transaction process, and several case studies of pilots.

A new pilot was recently announced with UK bank NatWest using cards supplied by Gemalto.

“Issuers today are looking at different ways of verifying cardholder presence that don’t impact consumer convenience. Biometric technology solves that problem and doesn’t require retailers to make changes to their EMV chip terminals,” says Secure Technology Alliance Executive Director Randy Vanderhoof. “This guide is a good place to start for those interested in exploring how biometric payment cards can be used for layered, convenient in-person multifactor authentication.”

Considerations for issuers include the potential need for new profiles and scripting for new versions of payment applications, and additional implementation considerations are outlined for processing, the standards which have yet to be established for biometric payment cards, the higher cost of the cards, and cardholder education, among other issues.

Mastercard recently made the case for biometric payment cards as a method of distribution for government benefits in a video, and major production volumes of biometric payment cards are expected by as soon as late-2019.

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