US institution joins Visa biometric card pilot

Mountain America Credit Union has joined the Bank of Cyprus in trialling a biometric-enabled contactless payment card from Visa.

The new biometric payment card pilots will test the use of fingerprint recognition as alternatives to a PIN or signature when authenticating the cardholder. Customers place their finger on the sensor and their fingerprint is compared with the previously enrolled fingerprint template securely stored in the card to authenticate the transaction.

A recent survey from Visa found that 86 per cent of consumers are interested in using biometrics to verify identity or to make payments, and more than 65 per cent of consumers are already familiar with biometrics.

Matt Farrow, assistant vice president of payment and card services at Mountain America, commented: “Mountain America Credit Union is proud to be an early partner with Visa and other industry leaders on this innovative biometric card solution. We are excited to explore the enhanced security benefits that biometrics can provide to credit and debit card transactions, while preserving focus on convenience for consumers.”

Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions at Visa, added: “The world is quickly moving toward a future that will be free of passwords, as consumers realise how biometric technologies can make their lives easier. As electronic payments expand dramatically around the world, Visa is committed to developing and investing in emerging capabilities that deliver a better, more secure payment experience.”

The Bank of Cyprus Visa card pilot will be utilising technology from Gemalto, while the Mountain America Credit Union pilot is being supported by technology from Fingerprint Cards and Kona-I.

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