The world of payment cards is prone to disruption. This medium of payment has not changed all that much in recent years. Perhaps the biggest change is how we can now pay through contactless manners. Bank of Cyprus has some big plans to shake things up. More specifically, they will issue biometric EMV cards in the future. Authorizing payments can be done through a fingerprint rather than entering a PIN code.

Payment card security has always been a very tricky problem. In the past, cards would be swiped without further authentication. These days, most consumers enter a PIN code to complete transactions. Even so, such a code can easily be obtained by thieves and assailants. It is far from a proper security solution. Coming up with new ways to protect card users has not been easy. Bank of Cyprus thinks they have cracked the code for this problem.

A Bold Venture by the Bank of Cyprus

More specifically, Bank of Cyprus will issue new EMV payment cards. Rather than traditional models, these new tools have biometric technology integrated. Users can authenticate transactions through a fingerprint scan. This will replace the need for PIN codes altogether. It makes sense on paper, but it may work very differently in the real world. After all, fingerprint scans are not the most secure solution either, by any means.

Gemalto EVP Banking and Payments Bertrand Knopf comments:

“Bank of Cyprus is the first in the world to implement this new technology. Using biometrics for contactless payments is a natural move as it fits in naturally with the gesture used to pay. It allows a better user experience, enabling higher transaction amounts without entering a PIN while benefiting from the convenience of contactless”

As one would expect, these new cards also require new payment terminals. More specifically, the terminal will power the biometric sensor card. This means the cards themselves do not need a battery, which is good to see. Moreover, the card issued by the Bank of Cyprus should be compatible with existing terminals in some parts of the country. It will be interesting to see how all of this affects adoption in the long run.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock


About Author

JP Buntinx is a 30-year old FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he is working to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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