Mastercard, Samsung Partner for Biometric Credit Card

The new Samsung Card will require a fingerprint verification before transactions.

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Need to Know

  • Samsung and Mastercard will develop a biometric card that uses fingerprint scanning for transaction authorization.
  • The new cards will allow for safer, more secure transactions, and lessen the need for physical contact by eliminating the requirement to enter a PIN at the point of sale.
  • The fingerprint-enabled Samsung Card will roll out later this year in South Korea.

Analysis

Samsung and Mastercard have signed an agreement to develop a biometric credit card, the Samsung Card.

The Samsung Card will use a built-in fingerprint scanning device to authorize transactions on in-store payment systems. Samsung and Mastercard say this new functionality will offer increased security while eliminating the need for physical contact, as cardholders will no longer be required to enter their PIN. The new biometric cards will adopt a security chipset from Samsung’s System LSI Business, integrating several key chips and streamlining the card’s design.

“Drawing from our strong security solution background in various applications such as passports, credit cards and mobile devices, we will work with Mastercard and Samsung Card to create an environment where consumers can use payment card services with an added peace of mind,” said Harry Cho, vice president of engineering at Samsung Electronics.

Karthik Ramanathan, senior VP of cyber and intelligence solutions for Mastercard, said the new card satisfies a customer base that is increasingly embracing “the safety and convenience of contactless payments,” saying that the new cards will “enhance cardholder security with a biometric solution supporting fast, frictionless payment experiences that are protected at every point.”

Mastercard released a fingerprint card in 2017 but that card differs from the new Samsung Card as they leverage Samsung’s biometric tech, not Mastercard’s. Mastercard isn’t the first company to test fingerprint recognition — earlier this year, Visa revealed that it would be testing the use of fingerprint recognition as an alternative to PIN security — but the announcement is just the latest in a series of releases and partnerships from the credit card company that shows its commitment to contact-free digital security and innovation.

Most recently, Mastercard became the first company to release quantum-resistant security standards, just weeks after announcing Cloud Tap on Phone, a new tool with the ability to turn every smartphone into a POS device.

Mastercard has also launched a number of pandemic-friendly products and services, such as virtual cards for corporate clients; cash advances — in partnership with Clair — for gig workers, such as food and grocery couriers; and the first-ever differentiated benefits program for gig workers, in partnership with Stride.

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