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Mastercard, MatchMove, Idemia to pilot fingerprint biometric card in Asia

Due to the pandemic, many have resorted to shopping online. Photo: Free Malaysia Today. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SINGAPORE, Oct 21, 2020, BT. Mastercard, Singapore fintech MatchMove and tech company Idemia are working together to develop a card that will allow fingerprint authorisation at in-store payment terminals in Asia, in a bid to enhance the safety and security of contactless transactions, The Business Times reported.

Named F.CODE Easy, the card will take the experience of biometric authentication from a smartphone to a smart card, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“This makes transactions more convenient, safe and secure by eliminating the need for a cardholder to provide a PIN number or signature, thereby reducing touch points in public places,” the companies added.

MatchMove will issue the biometric cards for the pilot in Q4 this year. The pilot will feature employees of Mastercard, Idemia and MatchMove using the cards for transactions, as well as live demonstrations for customers, the firms said.

Developed by Idemia in accordance with Mastercard’s technical and design specifications, F.CODE Easy ensures privacy and security by storing all biometric credentials on the card chip, rather than a central database.

The battery-free card harvests energy from payment terminals to power its fingerprint sensor and is certified to International Organization for Standardization standards by Mastercard for security and compliance, the companies noted.

Said Matthew Driver, Mastercard’s executive vice-president of services for Asia-Pacific: “As people make a permanent move to contactless transactions, the biometric card promises more choice and greater security for consumers.”

Digital payments startup MatchMove is part of a consortium contending for a digital full bank licence in Singapore. Earlier this week, finance company Singapura Finance announced that it is investing US$3 million in MatchMove’s digital bank unit to support its growth.

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