Jordan Kuwait Bank (JKB) is bringing a biometric payment card to the Middle East. The new card will be handed out to the bank’s Mastercard World Elite customers, and will be the first commercially available biometric payment card offered in the region.
The card itself was developed by Thales, which has already delivered biometric payment cards for BNP Paribas in its native France. The JKB announcement did not offer any details about the fingerprint sensor, though previous cards have featured fingerprint technology from FPC.
Either way, the Thales card will allow JKB to meet the growing demand for contactless payment solutions. Thales’ offering has EMV certification from Mastercard, Visa, and Europay, and uses a built-in fingerprint sensor to verify the identity of the cardholder during a transaction.
In doing so, the card eliminates the need for a traditional PIN, which in turn means that people no longer need to make physical contact with a terminal to complete a payment. The JKB card can be used at ATMs and traditional in-store payment terminals, and when making online purchases. The owner’s fingerprint template will be stored locally on the card, and can be registered at home without a trip to a branch location. Terminals, meanwhile, will display a green light to indicate that a fingerprint match was successful.
“We have ensured that the built-in fingerprint scanners in the biometric EMV cards uses the latest pioneering technology to assure fast, contactless and secure transactions to JKB’s customers,” said Thales Banking and Payment Services SVP Nassir Ghrous.
JKB noted that digital payments increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, and believes that volumes will continue to rise in the next few years. Uptake is expected to be particularly high in the United Arab Emirates, where 97 percent of consumers plan to use at least one digital payment method within the next 12 months.
Source: The National News