As consumers become increasingly comfortable using biometrics to unlock devices and log into accounts, there is a growing interest in bringing this technology to physical payment cards to provide simple-to-use multifactor authentication for in-store transactions. The Secure Technology Alliance released an introductory resource for those interested in better understanding the business case, impact and considerations for providing fingerprint-based biometric payment cards.

“Issuers today are looking at different ways of verifying cardholder presence that don’t impact consumer convenience. Biometric technology solves that problem and doesn’t require retailers to make changes to their EMV chip terminals,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance. “This guide is a good place to start for those interested in exploring how biometric payment cards can be used for layered, convenient in-person multifactor authentication". 

This resource focuses on the use case where fingerprint capture, template storage and matching are on the payment cards. Moreover, this resource:

  • Provides an overview of biometric payment card components and functions, fingerprint enrollment methods, issuer considerations, use and lifecycle management considerations, and user experience
  • Discusses the benefits of biometric payment cards
  • Outlines implementation considerations
  • Summarizes use cases and real-world examples from American Express, JCB, Mastercard and Visa

Payments Council members participating in the development of the white paper included: American Express; CPI Card Group; Discover Financial Services; Entrust Datacard; First Data; G+D Mobile Security; Gemalto; IDEMIA; Infineon Technologies; Ingenico; Mastercard; MULTOS International; NXP Semiconductors; Rambus; Verifone; and Visa. Additional information on the Payments Council can be found here