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UK pilot of fingerprint biometric payment fob from G+D and Visa begins


Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is trialing a fingerprint biometric fob for authenticating payments by its customers in the UK, enabling contactless payments of up to £100 without a card or mobile device, BBC News reports.

The fob is roughly the size of a standard keyring, and indicates a successful match with an LED indicator when “tapped” against an existing payment terminal. The device will be tested by 250 RBS customers over a three-month period.

The report notes that RBS is working with Giesecke and Devrient Mobile Security (G+D) and Visa to develop the technology, and that digital payments above £30 have previously not been possible without a card or smartphone.

G+D and Zwipe announced a collaboration on a wearable device for biometric payments in September, saying at the time that they expected to being piloting the technology with leading banks.

“After the successful pilot of our biometric debit card we are looking at how we can further develop the technology and push the boundaries to integrate it into our customers everyday lives,” comments David Crawford, head of Royal Bank Effortless Payments.

A biometric payment card trial was launched by RBS and NatWest in April, using technology from Gemalto and Fingerprint Cards, which the bank says was successful. In that trial, customers were able to make payments above £30 without entering a PIN. The bank has not yet announced plans to roll out biometric payment cards.

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