Biometric Payment Cards Could Fight Welfare Fraud

Biometric payment cards could help to reduce fraud in social subsidy distribution, argues Safran Identity & Security Payment Marketing Director Jesper Domargård.

Biometric Payment Cards Could Fight Welfare FraudWriting on the company’s website, Domargård notes that numerous countries struggle with the distribution of welfare, pensions, and the like, which can sometimes end up in the hands of unauthorized individuals or even be transferred to the deceased. But with the emergence of biometric payment cards, citizens’ identities could immediately be verified at the time that subsidies are loaded to the card, with cardholders’ fingerprints being used for authentication on the card itself.

This biometric approach has already been adopted by authorities in India through that country’s Aadhaar program, which attaches biometrics to national ID. But now that biometric technology is starting to be integrated into payment cards, such large-scale and complex ID programs aren’t even necessary to ensure that social welfare only goes to the citizens it’s meant for.

It’s one of many possibilities opened up by the pioneering efforts of Mastercard, which is using Safran Identity & Security biometric software in a new payment card concept that is infused with an embedded fingerprint sensor. And as such technology becomes available on a mass scale, other new applications with positive social impacts could arise, too.