The continuous evolution of technology has led to an age of innovation, security codes (which are still available) turned facial recognition, iris sensors, and fingerprints scanners, from typing a message to actual voice-turned-text messages. A lot of things has changed and are still changing, usually aimed at making things easier for its users.
One of those mentioned above, the fingerprint scanners, has become one very useful feature for most devices. Aside from serving as a quick means of typing a passcode, a fingerprint scan is only exclusive to its owner. It is quite tricky to replicate a fingerprint of another person, unless you’re some sort of spy or professional thief.
The fingerprint scan has tons of ways to be used but has one purpose, an intense security measure that only the device owner can authenticate.
Now, that’s quite an invulnerability that will be useful for other important and personal items. MasterCard saw its potential and found a way to install this in their credit cards.
Just like any regular credit cards, except for the fact that it is not, MasterCard added a fingerprint scanner at the bottom of their cards. Gone are the days of the PIN codes and signatures, a touch of the scanner is enough to authorize the owner’s transactions.
Though the feature will be very useful, trials for the future of MasterCard are still being held in South Africa. Soon, the trials will extend to other parts of the world like Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. MasterCard’s Chief Of Security Ajay Bhalla said that the cards will remain working with other existing chip-and-PIN readers and will have a full roll out within the year. Additional convenience and security should also be expected with this feature.
Security experts believe that a fingerprint will always be better than a PIN. Berlin Security Research Labs Chief Scientist Karsten Nohl explains that by using a fingerprint, the combination of chip and its weaker element PIN is removed. The worry of having someone else figuring out a terrible password will no longer exist. However, this does not mean 100% security for the fingerprint scans.
There have been instances where curious minds proved that even a unique fingerprint can be replicated and used by others, especially with the right tools (a dental mold and some play-dough). Once this happens, everything you saved and secured with your fingerprint is as good as gone.
In order to avail the new cards, enrolment centers are available to provide service for interested customers. Here, their fingerprints will be scanned and transfer to their new cards. Users can save two fingerprints, both will be stored and encrypted on the card’s EMV chip.