Debit card with built-in fingerprint reader to trial in England and Scotland

Amelia Glean 11 March 2019 NEWS

200 NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers will trial a biometric bank card, which allows users to verify a purchase over £30 using fingerprint technology.

200 NatWest customers in England and RBS customers in Scotland will be involved in the first trial in the UK for a biometric bank card with fingerprint technology.

Users will have their fingerprints taken and their data put onto early versions of this new innovation in card technology.

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The new biometric cards are fitted with a built-in sensor to recognise fingerprint data, which is powered by payment terminals, to allow customers to make purchases over £30 without entering their four-digit PIN.

Currently, there’s a limit of £30 per transaction for contactless cards, which means if customers wish to make a larger purchase, they’re prompted to enter their PIN.

It’s hoped the new scheme will make paying for goods at the till more convenient for customers, especially vulnerable users who may struggle to remember their card details.

RBS and NatWest are working with digital security company Gemalto, Visa and MasterCard to bring this service to customers in the UK.

David Crawford, NatWest head of effortless payments, said: “We are using the very latest technology across our business to make banking easier for our customers and biometric fingerprint cards are one of the many technologies we are exploring further.”

Howard Berg, UK managing director of Gemalto, said: “Using a fingerprint rather than a PIN code to authorise transactions has many advantages, primarily enhanced security and greater convenience.”

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