NatWest Bank to trial contactless biometric card

Natwest biometric fingerprint bankcard and reader

NatWest Bank is to run a trial of fingerprint-on-card authentication allowing a cardholder to make contactless payments above the current level of £30.

This increases security and makes it easier for customers when paying for goods or services since they will not need to enter a PIN, according to the UK bank.

Some 200 customers are to take part in the upcoming test, which is being run in association with Visa, Mastercard and digital security company Gemalto.

“We are using the very latest technology across our business to make banking easier for our customers, and biometric fingerprint cards are one of the many technologies we are exploring further. This is the biggest development in card technology in recent years and we are excited to trial the service,” says David Crawford, NatWest’s head of effortless payments.

Gemalto UK managing director Howard Berg adds: “Using a fingerprint rather than a PIN code to authorise transactions has many advantages, primarily enhanced security and greater convenience. Cardholders can pay quickly and easily with just a simple touch, and they no longer need to worry about the limit on contactless payment transactions.”

Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo bank announced Europe’s first pilot of a contactless biometric payment card in November 2018.