Mastercard releases biometric payment card FAQ, Sentry shows off access control card
Mastercard has produced an FAQ to answer a dozen frequently-asked questions about biometric cards, as it pitches issuers and prepares the way for mass adoption of fingerprint-enabled cards for payments and other applications.
The questions and answers range from the succinct, as in whether it can be used at ATMs (yes, using a PIN), to the four-part answer to the question of the technology’s potential benefits. The four parts cover benefits to issuers, cardholders, merchants, and government and social welfare agencies.
Other answers provided by Mastercard summarize what the card is and how it works, going into some detail to explain that fingerprint templates, rather than raw images, are stored on the card and how enrollment and matching are carried out.
The payments giant says its biometric card is now available in 70 markets, and warns issuers that they must ensure regulatory compliance when rolling them out.
“Mastercard Biometric Card is available for Mastercard and Maestro brands, segments (i.e., consumer and commercial), and products (i.e., credit, debit, and prepaid),” the company states in the FAQ. “It is not available for any U.S. debit or pre-paid card nor for other similar regulated products supported in U.S. Territories.”
The company also says it is the first to specify a certification framework with four layers for functionality, security and performance.
The FAQ also provides implementation details for issuers.
Promotional video says SentryCard proximity range 45 feet
The development of a third-generation platform for the card, which uses biometric fingerprint sensor modules from Fingerprint Cards and an Ambiq MCU, was announced earlier this year.
The SentryCard provides biometric authentication for physical access control, multi-factor authentication for logical access control, and passive proximity detection for contact tracing, mustering, and other applications. The company says the on-card biometric storage and matching meet GDPR and CCPA regulations, and also support contactless processes. It can be integrated with existing business and institutional systems.
Proximity detection is carried out through a UHF antenna with up to 45 feet of range, and the card supports HID Prox, iClass or SEOS, and DESFire EV1 and EV2 access control systems. The physical access antennas are vaulted to be inaccessible unless biometric authentication is completed.
The card includes both an energy harvesting capability, and a lithium-ion battery for a minimum life of three years.