Home Tech World’s First: Mastercard introduces cards with embedded fingerprint scanners.

World’s First: Mastercard introduces cards with embedded fingerprint scanners.


Today Mastercard introduced new cards with embedded fingerprint scanners. The same scanners that have been growing in popularity in smartphones have now, for the first time ever, made their way to cards. Trials for this new technology have been going on in South Africa through Pick and Pay supermarkets in conjunction with Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Bank.

The scanner will be located on the right corner of the card. Stores will not need to upgrade their EMV terminal hardware or software. When a user wants to make a payment with the new card, all they will need to do is insert it into the terminal like they normally do, then they will place their finger on the scanner, inputting a PIN and trying to hide so that no one sees it will be a thing of the past. Mastercard says that a future version of the card will have ‘contactless technology’ they, however, do not elaborate more on it.

To get on board, you will need to get your fingers scanned and integrated with the new card by your financial institution. Mastercard says that early testers reported that using your fingerprint is quick, it’s much faster than punching in your PIN. The company plans to continue with testing before rolling out the technology to other countries. The only caveat to using these new cards is that your bank has to get on board first before enrolling its members.

Last year, Samsung released something sort of similar to this, you could use a Galaxy S7/S7 Edge to pay at the checkout using your fingerprint as the authentication. The phones had your card information pre-loaded and no hardware upgrades were required at the stores. This Samsung technology has expanded rather slowly but with the new heat coming from Mastercard, we might see things start to move a bit faster, which is a win for us the consumers.