“Crédit Agricole is officially offering biometric Mastercards to its regular customers.”
Fingerprint Cards‘ technology is being used in a new biometric payment card from Crédit Agricole France, the company has announced. The bank is offering biometric versions of its Gold and World Elite cards.
It marks a significant early deployment of biometric payment cards, with Crédit Agricole considered the world’s largest cooperative financial institution. The bank launched a six-month pilot last summer in partnership with G + D Mobile Security, NXP Semiconductors, and Mastercard, with a view to leveraging the extra security of biometric authentication to enable contactless card payments that exceed the €50 transaction cap.
Now, Crédit Agricole is officially offering biometric Mastercards to its regular customers. Each card features a fingerprint sensor located at one end, allowing a user to conveniently authenticate with a thumb scan during a transaction, whether it’s a contactless or chip-based payment. Users also have the option of registering two fingerprints on each card.
In announcing the availability of the biometric cards, Crédit Agricole highlighted the speed and security of biometric contactless payments compared to conventional chip-and-PIN payments, as well as the removal of the contactless transaction cap.
The news comes just a few weeks after Fingerprint Cards’ announcement that, in collaboration with the France-based QA consultancy Fime, it had attained compliance with Mastercard’s Reference Specifications for the T-Shape sensor, its card-focused biometric solution. FPC’s leadership are looking to biometric payment cards as a potentially important new growth area going forward.
Crédit Agricole’s move points to France as an important hotbed for this emerging payments technology, after the news from earlier this year that BNP Paribas would be offering a biometric Visa credit card to its customers this year.