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April 20, 2017

R.I.P. PINs, your credit cards could soon have fingerprint sensors built in

by John_A

With new credit and debit cards more featuring contactless payment chips more often than not these days, you might not have used your PIN code for purchases for a while. However, a large number of retailers still require a PIN for payments over £30 so you still need to use your number at times and there are still plenty of stores that don’t accept contactless payments at all.

Mastercard may have come up with a solution. It has added a fingerprint sensor to a concept card it is currently trialling in South Africa.

Not only could it abolish PIN codes, but it should also improve security – after all, nobody can peek over your shoulder and copy your fingerprint. Illegal card replication would also be far harder considering the user would need your fingerprint to use a copied card – even if such a thing was possible.


The card itself works like a chip card, so can be used in existing card terminals in stores. You enter the card into the terminal, press your finger on the sensor and the payment is approved.

It will also help those who forget PIN codes easily.

The card currently being trialled does not come with contactless payment technology, but a further model with NFC is also in the works.

Further trials are planned for Europe and Asia in the coming months and, if successful, we could even see consumer versions starting to appear later this year.

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