British bank Natwest is trialing the use of a new NFC payment card with a built-in fingerprint scanner. “The trial, which will include 200 customers when it begins in mid-April, will allow its participants to make NFC payments (called ‘contactless’ in the UK) without needing to input a PIN or offer a signature,” reports The Verge. “The standard [30 British pound] limit for contactless payments will not apply when the fingerprint is used.” From the report: Currently, anyone can make a contactless payment in the UK by tapping their card on the terminal to make a payment. As a result of this lack of security, a [30 British pound] limit is applied to such payments, with retailers requiring you to place your card into the card reader and enter a PIN for more expensive purchases (commonly referred to as the “Chip and PIN” method). Although mobile payments require authentication, customers often find they’re subject to the same [30 British pound] limit. The fingerprint data is stored locally on the card, meaning there’s no security information for a hacker to be able to steal from a bank’s central database. It’s not foolproof — there’s always the risk a sufficiently determined thief could steal and imitate your fingerprint — but it’s much more secure than a PIN that someone could learn by simply looking over your shoulder as you enter it.
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