Mastercard’s Biometric Card Trials in South Africa

23 May

Card security has always been something of concern in South Africa. Stolen cards, identity theft, cloned cards…this is just the start to the type of fraud that millions of South Africans have fallen victim to over the years. It’s also why MasterCard’s new biometric card trials in SA have been received with such anticipation.

The new biometric Mastercard will take card security to the next level, combining chip technology with fingerprint technology. In order to verify your identity, you will need to scan your fingerprint at payment terminals. The trials were carried out and completed at ABSA and Pick ‘n Pay.

As a fingerprint cannot be taken or easily replicated, Mastercard feels that the biometric card can offer additional convenience, security and confidence to shoppers.

How Does the New Intended Biometric Master Card Work?

Once the trial period is complete and the card publicly launched, consumers will need to register with their financial institution. Their fingerprint will then be captured and converted into an encrypted file that is then stored on the file. Encryption is vital when storing data of any kind, if you want to keep the information out of the hands of the wrong people.

When paying for goods at a store, the card must be inserted into the terminal and then the fingerprint pressed onto the sensor / fingerprint reader. It’s that simple.

Testing Testimonials

Richard van Rensburg, Pick ‘n Pay deputy chief executive, stated that he was very impressed with the system’s robust and secure nature. It certainly gets a thumbs up from the Pick ‘n Pay team.

Geoff Lee, the head of cards and payments at ABSA retail and business banking said that ABSA would be making the card available to clients in an “affordable, reliable, convenient and secure” way. That’s another thumbs up for Mastercard’s latest security technology.

While more test trials are planned for the upcoming weeks, Mastercard has inferred that there will be a full roll out of the card towards the end of 2017.

Would you get yourself a biometric card? How safe and comfortable do you feel with biometric security. Let us know what your thoughts and concerns are – we’d love to hear from you!

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