Whenever you lose your credit card the process that follows is always a drag. First, you have to report losing it and cancel it, then you have to check whether someone made any withdrawals from tellers or ATMs, then you have to apply for a new one, and the banks have unreasonable working hours… All in all, it’s a mess. Sure, there are a few safety measures, but they are relatively easy to circumvent and not all banks and tellers follow correct procedures as well as they should. Well, the UK has a little surprise for us all in that regard.
NatWest is a major bank in the UK and they have started a three-month trial of a credit card that can verify transactions via fingerprints. The idea is to put an extra level of security when it comes to the increasingly popular contactless transactions.
That doesn’t mean that you will be required to put your finger to the screen every time you want to make a transaction. This is more in line with making large transactions and withdrawals. For example, if you want a contactless transaction that is above the value of 30 pounds, or any transaction above 100 pounds, you would put your finger to the terminal. However, if you are using the card at the ATM, then the usual principle of entering your PIN applies, though it may not be long before we no longer have to remember the cumbersome code and are able to do away with it completely.
The Future Is Now
More and more banks in the UK are competing against one another to come up with new technological ideas that will entice new clients. NatWest is now testing the biometric cards and they are hoping that they will soon become the norm, as the theory suggests that the clients will be able to perform transactions more smoothly with less hassle and more security. This is just the natural next step after the successful trials of the biometric debit card.
Another interesting feature of the card is that it doesn’t really have any new hardware, meaning that banks, online shops, and markets won’t need to get new readers – the new biometric credit card is completely compatible with the current technology.
Who Is Working on It?
NatWest, naturally, had to have a few partners here. They formed an alliance with Mastercard and Gemalto. We should probably point out that this is not the first revolutionary act on Mastercard’s part this year – they have also made a credit card made of gold. We have already covered the topic in a piece you can read here.
On the other hand, Gemalto also works with Visa on similar technology and their card has already been launched in the UK and Switzerland. This proves that we are not simply talking about a pipe dream, but a project that is already underway. We look forward to seeing what these companies come up with next.