“Like other emerging biometric payment cards, the Cornèrcard Biometric Gold Visa supports contactless payments and is designed to harvest energy from payment terminals.”
Switzerland has become the site of one of the very first commercial launches of a biometric payment card.
It’s a significant development, though it is on a small scale. Cornèrcard has launched a limited edition batch of 100 fingerprint-scanning Visa cards, dubbed the Cornèrcard Biometric Gold Visa. The cards feature fingerprint sensor technology from Sweden’s Fingerprint Cards, and are also the product of a collaboration with Thales. Like other emerging biometric payment cards, the Cornèrcard Biometric Gold Visa supports contactless payments and is designed to harvest energy from payment terminals. Its embedded fingerprint scanner authenticates the authorized user during a given transaction.
In announcing the limited edition payment card, Cornèrcard highlighted its cutting-edge technology and high level of security. The bank is positioning the card as a prestige product, charging cardholders a one-time ‘membership fee’ of a little over $300, plus an annual fee of just under $200.
While this positioning could prove persuasive today, it could be out of date in a year’s time, with multiple financial services and biometrics specialists anticipating large-scale rollouts of biometric payment cards over the coming months. They’re banking on fingerprint-scanning cards becoming the next big wave in payment cards, just as chip-based contactless cards have displaced traditional swipe-based cards in many major markets.
In any case, the Cornèrcard Biometric Gold Visa launch is clearly an important step forward for Fingerprint Cards and Thales, and the latest major milestone in the emerging biometric payment cards market more broadly.