“Importantly, too, the cards work and are processed the same way as standard contactless cards, no upgrades are required to existing acceptance infrastructure.” – Thomas Rex, SVP, Smart Card Business Line, Fingerprint Cards
First announced last November, the project is being undertaken by JCB, a Japanese credit card company and the operator of what FPC says is the country’s leading payment network. The company is trialing an IDEMIA payment card solution based on IDEMIA’s F-Code concept, a credit card featuring an embedded fingerprint sensor that authenticates the cardholder during a payment transaction.
FPC says that the card uses an FPC1300 fingerprint sensor model, asserting in a statement that the sensor boasts of “ultra-low power consumption” and “superior biometric performance”.
Commenting on the JCB deployment, FPC smart cards SVP Thomas Rex suggested that Japan, with its shift to EMV payments ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, offers “a perfect testing ground for PIN-less, painless and secure contactless payments.” Rex also emphasized that the new biometric payment cards “are processed the same way as standard contactless cards, no upgrades are required to existing acceptance infrastructure.”
The companies have not yet offered a timeline for JCB’s pilot, but in any case it represents a pioneering effort in the emerging field of biometric smart cards, which is widely expected to become a major market in the near future.