Mastercard piloting first biometric card trial in Mexico with Edenred

Mastercard and Edenred have launched the first biometric card trial in Sonora, Mexico. The pilot is focused on securing disbursements to recipients of Sonora’s state benefits programs and reducing the potential of card-present fraud by verifying the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases with the card’s embedded fingerprint sensor which is supplied by IDEX Biometrics.

“The Administration for Sonora state is committed to technological innovation and the introduction of the biometric card for social benefits programs reflects this commitment,” explains Manuel Puebla Espinoza de los Monteros, Secretary of Social Development in Sonora. “Our beneficiaries will experience greater security when receiving and using their benefit, since the cardholder’s identity is protected and only the owner of the card can use it.”

“This trial allows Mastercard and Edenred to support financial inclusion and implement new technology, in partnership with the Mexican state social welfare agency in Sonora, demonstrating the true value of public-private partnerships in delivering meaningful programs,” adds Jorge Noguera, president, Mexico and Central America, Mastercard.

Biometric features can be implemented on any Mastercard card product and work with existing EMV card terminals worldwide without requiring hardware or software upgrades. Issuers can leverage the biometric match data to increase approval rates and help reduce the potential of card-present fraud while benefit program providers can get more insight into user spending.

Mastercard introduced its biometric card technology to the public in March in a two-and-a-half minute long video featuring the card as a tool for government benefits distribution, as well as more secure consumer payments.

Mastercard Executive VP of Identity Solutions Bob Reany told Biometric Update in a recent interview that developing a mass market for biometric payment cards is key to achieving the scale that will make them affordable for governments.

Updated 2019-05-08 at 3:00 PM to mention IDEX Biometrics involvement.

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