NatWest’s and Royal Bank of Scotland’s trials of biometric payment cards have kicked off with a bang, with card supplier Gemalto and its partners having organized media launch events in London and Edinburgh.
First announced in early March, the trial programs are being conducted in collaboration with Visa. The fingerprint-scanning cards themselves, provided by Gemalto, also feature biometric sensor technology from Fingerprint Cards.
At its launch events, Gemalto showcased how its ‘enrollment sleeve’ technology allows end users to register their fingerprints with their new payment cards right at home, and without any need to go into a bank branch. A given card can slide into the thin sleeve, and then the user needs only to press a finger on the card’s sensor until a green light flashes three times, signalling that enrollment is complete. The user just needs to enter their PIN during their first payment with the card to confirm that they are the registered user; and after that, the card can be used in tap-to-pay transactions in excess of the usual £30 cap.
The NatWest and RBS trials follow successful pilot programs in Cyprus, Italy, and Lebanon, and are expected to pave the way for large-scale commercial rollouts of the technology to come. These latest trials collectively feature 200 participants, and are slated to run for three months.