Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish

Helping customers beat card fraud with biometric security

16th May 2017


Mastercard recently announced a new version of their cards that features a built-in fingerprint recognition system. This is an important development for the card sector as fraud in the UK alone is running at almost £1bn – something needs to be done. But is this the right way to approach the problem? 

Both banks and customers want to prevent card fraud. At present most banks take the loss when cards are used fraudulently. Even when the customer has their lost money returned, it is still a lot of trouble to manage the refund – time must be spent reviewing all purchases to let the bank know which were genuine and which were not.


Building the fingerprint recognition into the card itself, as Mastercard is testing, does fix one major problem. If retailers need biometric security systems, it may take time to roll out the fingerprint readers to every possible location. However, building this into the card itself might also be seen as a temporary solution.


Take a look at the cash machines (ATMs) used in markets such as Japan and Brazil. Customers register biometric details, such as a print of their hand, and then they can access their account and get cash without any card at all. If the bank recognises a customer based on biometrics then why would you need a card?


Services like Apple Pay have popularised the use of mobile phones for payment. Modern smartphones (iPhone 6 onwards) are equipped with a chip that can be used like a contactless card – just tap your phone on a register to make a purchase.


It seems that ultimately the best future for retailers, banks, and customers will be when payments can be easily made just by allowing a biometric test. The only difficulty will be modifying retail systems to support a card-free environment. The retailer will need to have a list of all your possible payment accounts so that scanning your hand or eye, then presents the option ‘which account would you like to use?’ The retailer also needs the scanning equipment.


The Mastercard idea might well be the best step towards this future without cards. USA only introduced a chip and pin card security two years ago, when the same system has been in use in Europe since 1990s. It can take time to harmonise standards globally. It would not be possible for UK to abolish cards if they are still required in other markets, but I think the fingerprint system shows that biometric security is the future for customers.


Will biometric security really prevent card fraud? If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment here or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *

Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Service Provider
Solution Designer
Technology Enabler
Ronald Van schijndel appointed CEO webhelp the Netherlands

Ronald van Schijndel has been appointed as the new CEO of Webhelp the Netherlands. Ronald steps into this role following the unexpected passing of our dear colleague and former CEO Gert-Jan Morsink with whom he’s worked closely on the development and growth of the business since 2012. Thanks to his experience and passion for organizational development Ronald has been a key influence in shaping...

Brits Are Looking Forward to a Traditional Family Christmas

  Electronic devices and computer games don’t make it into top 10 of gifts   With Christmas just days away, the majority of Brits are looking forward to time with friends and family this festive period, according to the latest consumer research from customer experience expert,...

Speech Analytics: Improving the Customer Experience

This week’s #techenabler vlog. Chris Bryson, Global Analytics Director at Webhelp, discusses about the importance of speech analytics in customer experience. Speech analytics delivers rapid insight into a range of improvement opportunities, based on an analysis of a large number of customer...

The Spring of B2B Marketplaces : Modelling the impact of B2B Marketplaces strategies

Following the presentation of The Spring of B2B Marketplaces at the Marketplace Summit by Mirakl, we are pleased to make this fascinating study available to you! This study covers the state of B2B marketplaces today, and is proudly co-created by Roland Berger, Mirakl and Webhelp Payment...

Case Studies
Post Office Limited®