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Discover testing new fingerprint payment system

November 28, 2012

Discover will begin testing a new payment system that uses cardholders' fingerprints to authenticate purchases at the credit card terminal.

Discover will begin testing a new payment system that uses cardholders’ fingerprints to authenticate purchases at the credit card terminal.

According to The Business Insider, the company is partnering with French biometrics firm Natural Security for the trial, which will take place among Discover employees at the company’s corporate headquarters.

Individuals who want to participate in the test will have their fingerprints scanned and assigned a number that corresponds to them. They will also receive a contactless key fob that must be nearby while they are making purchases – for example in their pockets or briefcases. Then, when they pay, they simply press their fingertips on a special reader for authentication.

“I believe that leaving your card in your pocket, simply touching a reader and having the peace-of-mind that your payment is secured by your fingerprint is a right step in delivering that desired payment experience,” Discover’s Troy Bernard told Finextra. “Equally important, there is minimal impact to the existing payments infrastructure as the transaction can be magnetic stripe or EMV-formatted.”

More than 300 Discover employees are expected to take part in the trial, which will last a few months. There’s no word on when the technology may be rolled out to the general public yet.
 

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