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Samsung joins biometric payment card market with Mastercard development MoU

Targets domestic South Korea market for 2021 launch

biometric fingerprint data

A new player has emerged in the biometric payment card market, as Samsung’s Electronics and Card businesses have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mastercard to develop fingerprint-enabled dual interface cards.

The biometric cards are intended to be used for in-store payments, with Samsung’s System LSI Business supplying a new security chipset integrating several different chips and streamlining overall component design, according to the announcement.

“Drawing from our strong security solution background in various applications such as passports, credit cards and mobile devices, we will work with Mastercard and Samsung Card to create an environment where consumers can use payment card services with an added peace of mind,” states Harry Cho, vice president of Engineering at Samsung Electronics.

The rollout of the biometric cards in South Korea will be led by Samsung Card, and is planned for later in 2021. The companies plan a gradual adoption strategy, beginning with corporate credit cards more frequently used in international transactions.

“As consumers embrace the safety and convenience of contactless payments, Mastercard will leverage its cybersecurity and intelligence expertise and global payments network in this three-way partnership to enhance cardholder security with a biometric solution supporting fast, frictionless payment experiences that are protected at every point,” says Mastercard Senior Vice President of Cyber & Intelligence Solutions for Asia Pacific Karthik Ramanathan.

Mastercard is also involved in partnership on biometric payment cards with Idemia that includes technology from Zwipe and Idex Biometrics, which it also partnered with on remote enrollment. The payments company has also certified a biometric payment card from Thales and Fingerprint Cards which is being commercially launched this year.

“This biometric card is an example of Samsung Card’s efforts to deliver innovative and convenient solutions to consumers,” comments Samsung Card VP of Planning and Communication Hanjoo Yoon.

Yoon cites Samsung’s experience with big data and position in the domestic Korean market for digital transformation and fraud protection as advantages for the partnership.

ABI Research has forecast the issuance of up to 2.5 million biometric payment cards this year, and prior to the pandemic spurring an increase in contactless transactions, Goode Intelligence forecast close to 579 million could reach the market by 2023.

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