RBS pilots biometric fingerprint bank card solution

British based banking and financial services giant RBS Group is set to roll out a new biometric bank card which will enable customers to verify point-of-sale transactions using their fingerprint(s).

In collaboration with digital security company Gemalto, the bank is also working alongside Visa and Mastercard to help pilot the service to the UK.

The company revealed the trial will consist of 200 customers from the groups subsidiary banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest in the UK. It is expected to start in April and last three months.

David Crawford, NatWest head of effortless payments, said: “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.”

The bank said the payment method will “increase security” and hope that the biometric solution will make it easier and faster for customers to verify transactions – improving UX.

It will authorise payments over the current contactless limit of £30 using fingerprint authentication instead of Chip & PIN.

“Using a fingerprint rather than a PIN code to authorise transactions has many advantages, primarily enhanced security and greater convenience,” commented Howard Berg, UK managing director at Gemalto.

“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.”

Instead of entering a PIN number, customers will be able to permit transactions by pressing a finger down on a box in the corner of their card, which stores the biometric information, before it then being swiped at the till with no demand for pin authorisation.