“The biometric credit card trial will see payment cards issued to 150 participants, with spending limits for contactless transactions set to £100…”
NatWest has started trialing biometric credit cards in the UK, the major bank has announced.
The move follows a trial of biometric debit cards conducted earlier this year. As in that pilot program, NatWest is working with Gemalto, which was recently acquired by Thales. Its credit card partner, meanwhile, is Mastercard.
NatWest’s announcement made no mention of the supplier of its cards’ fingerprint sensor technology, but it may be worth noting that Fingerprint Cards was the provider of this tech in the debit card trial earlier this year.
The biometric credit card trial will see payment cards issued to 150 participants, with spending limits for contactless transactions set to £100, a significant extension above the usual £30 limit placed on standard contactless transactions.
“After the successful pilot of our biometric debit card we are looking to test the technology further with credit cards,” commented NatWest Director of Innovation Georgina Bulkeley in a statement announcing the new pilot program. “This is the biggest development in card technology in recent years and not having to enter a PIN not only increases security but makes it easier for our customers when paying for goods or services.”
Perhaps offering some indication of the growing concern over data security, NatWest took care to note in announcing the trial that users’ biometric data is never transmitted from the payment card, and that no fingerprint data is stored on remote servers. Biometrics are registered onto a given payment card in an initial enrollment session using a plastic sleeve, and after that all authentication is done directly on the card itself.