Just as some payment networks are establishing two-factor authentication systems for online payments, in-store payments need to be reinforced to combat identity theft and guarantee that the user is genuinely the card-holder. Biometrics offers this guarantee.
Payment cards can now incorporate fingerprint readers. Once their fingerprints are recorded by the bank, the user places a finger on the card to validate the payment transaction, either instead of the PIN or to provide a second level of authentication.

A technological revolution, without new constraints

With its “F-Code” biometric authentication solution, OT has created a miniature biometric sensor in a payment card in line with ISO standards imposing a maximum thickness of 0.8mm. The design also takes into account the need to optimize energy efficiency, with power supplied by a battery embedded in the card. For retailers, there are no infrastructure changes to carry out and for consumers, use is simple, even simpler than at present since there is no need to remember a code.

Securing payments, reducing fraud and saving time

“The use of biometrics for payments responds to an increasing need to secure means of payment in numerous purchasing situations, particularly while on the move,” explains Patrice Meilland, Vice President Strategic Programs and Powered Cards at OT.

A payment card with biometric identification would significantly reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. Authentication of a person receiving a monthly pension payment, for example, would allow the pension provider to check that the funds are actually withdrawn by the correct beneficiary.

Biometric bank cards would also optimize contactless payments, which are currently winning over both users and retailers due to the time saved at the cash desk, since no code needs to be entered for transactions below €20. Combining an NFC bank card with a biometric sensor would make it possible to safely remove this cap and authorize contactless payments for much higher amounts, improving fluidity at the checkout and benefiting both retailers and customers.

Combining technologies for greater security

It is also possible to imagine two-factor authentication combining a fingerprint reader with another innovation: OT MOTION CODE™. This card features a dynamic security code on a mini-display on the back, which typically changes every hour based on an algorithm which only the bank knows how to calculate. Combining these two innovations would mean that when a user makes an online purchase, the MOTION CODE™ would only be displayed after authentication of the user’s fingerprint.

“OT not only has the R&D capacities to implement F-Code technology, but also all the know-how and process to industrialize the product for its customers,” concludes Patrice Meilland. Since banks have a growing appetite for increasingly smart payment cards, we won’t have to wait too long for these “new generation” cards!