The pairing of iPhone 6 & NFC is great news for iPhone users, albeit a little behind the times, as some Android models have had this tech for a while now. But what about more standard methods of payment, like credit cards? Sure contactless payments are great for small purchases aren’t they? But are they as secure as you think?
The attraction to contactless payment cards is understandable, all you do is just wave your credit or debit card over a terminal and that’s it you’ve paid. This does have it’s downside however, as it also removes the PIN from the scenario. No PIN, means less security, ergo it is easy for someone to steal and then use your card for numerous small purchases until you block it.
How do we get around this issue? MasterCard is on the case. To combat this quandary and at the same time keeping contactless payments as easy as possible, MasterCard has recently announced the first credit card with a built-in fingerprint sensor for biometric security.
In theory the action of paying for goods or services should remain the same. When making a contactless purchase the card owner only needs to make sure their thumb is placed on the biometric sensor during the transaction. The card will obviously have the owner’s pre approved thumb print stored on it and if the thumb print isn’t detected during a transaction, then the purchase will not be processed.
The firm behind the technology, Zwipe will be releasing a version of their card for MasterCard in 2015 following on from a recent successful trial in Norway. The prototype carriers a battery attachment, which is too bulky, but in order to keep it as slim as the credit card already have in your wallet, Zwipe are working on a card that will be powered by energy from the payment terminal being used.