EMV chip cards are being coupled with high-end biometric technology

EMV cards have recently witnessed another shift as biometric technology is being coupled with chip technology to add yet another layer of security. This EMV card, created by SmartMetric, is endowed with a self-powered, fully functional fingerprint scanner. 

The latest figures compiled by the developer of the biometric credit card and Cyber/Access/Identity multi-function security card, indicate that over 6 billion EMV chip cards are currently in circulation around the world. These cards have been specifically designed for the banking card industry, founded on a standardized chip architecture in order to facilitate global interoperability on payment networks. All are being now targeted to adopt the high-end biometric technology.

A step towards ensuring greater transaction security

Issued by banks and credit card companies around the planet, EMV cards have been created by the EMVco, the Standards and Licensing body initially founded by Eurocard, MasterCard, and Visa. Most major payments networks have adhered to EMVco as today, these cards are considered as the most secure ones, especially when compared to magnetic stripe cards that have known a high rate of counterfeit and data breach. Separate licensing and approval are carried out for each payment network, thus giving the freedom to card issuers connected to multiple networks to have their cards operate seamlessly worldwide.

The EMV cards consist of credit and debit cards, each embedded with a microchip. They offer a high level of transaction security when used at chip-enabled terminals. As a unique code is used for each transaction and fraudsters cannot use stolen information, this added layer of security reduces data breaches and counterfeit fraud, as well as the impact on both clients and merchants.

80 countries have already adopted EMV cards

More than 80 countries have already integrated chip technology into their payment systems. In the United States, the implementation is being sped up since 2016 and as the number of retailers embracing chip cards is soaring, it is expected that EMV cards will become the standard form of payment in the country.

“Implementation of the EMV chip infrastructure globally offers real benefits to merchants, acquirers, card issuers and consumers as the specifications support features for reducing the fraud that results from counterfeit and lost and stolen payment cards,” explains Soumya Chakrabarty, EMVCo Executive Committee Chair. She added that the higher the adoption of EMV technology worldwide, the tougher the entire payment infrastructure will become.

For the period of July 2016 to June 2017, the percentage of card-present EMV transactions was as follows:

  • USA: 31.42%
  • Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean: 98%
  • Africa and the Middle East: 90.89%
  • Asia: 56.22%
  • Europe Zone 1: 98.17%
  • Europe Zone 2: 89.12%

Pairing biometric technology with EMV cards

SmartMetric has developed a biometric fingerprint in-card technology specifically for EMV chip cards. “The SmartMetric biometric reader scans, matches and turns on the EMV card in less than 0.25 seconds.  This is all done with an incredibly thin motherboard with equally incredibly thin electronic components allowing a fully functional fingerprint scanner to sit inside a standard thickness credit card,” explains Chaya Hendrik, the President/CEO of SmartMetric.

The company underlines that extra care and precaution have been taken to keep the biometric identity of users safe. Indeed, security has been placed as the main pillar in the creation of this technology. A person’s fingerprint is stored inside the card and verification of the person’s fingerprint is done on the card itself; at no moment in time does the fingerprint leave the card.  In addition to this feature, the SmartMetric development team created an on-card miniature power management system that recharges the card as it is being used in card readers. These cards are designed to be used at both POS (Point Of Sale) card readers and at ATMs.

The company is expecting this innovative technology to be adopted worldwide. Currently, SmartMetric is finalizing negotiations regarding key distributors in strategic locations globally.  Sales and marketing of this biometric credit card product are already being widely expanded to banks and credit card issuers around the world.

The company states that its actual production capacity is limited to 1 million cards monthly.  However, this figure is expected to rise shortly as the high demand is urging various players in the component supply chain, electronics assembly and card production to do their best to meet the demand.

Article published in EMV and Smart Payment Cards


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