Natwest has officially launched its biometric debit card in the UK, starting a trial which could spell the end for traditional PIN codes altogether.
Today Natwest has officially launched its biometric card trail, in which 200 customers will be issued the new cards equipped with a fingerprint sensor.
By pressing a registered fingerprint onto the card’s scanner, the user can pay for items contactlessly for any items up to the value of £100.
Currently contactless cards can only be used to buy items under £30 and must insert both their card and PIN number into a card machine when buying anything more expensive.
Natwest partnered with Visa and Gemalto to develop the card, which converts the users fingerprint into encrypted data which is then stored directly onto the card, never being sent to third parties including Natwest.
According to Gemalto, the cards cannot be fooled by 2D replications of someone’s fingerprint due to inbuilt dynamic recognition technology.
Not only does this mean the cards are more secure, but they could prove to be beneficial to those who struggle to remember their four-digit PIN codes, making them helpful for vulnerable customers.
The trial starts today and will last for three months, potentially being rolled out to more customers should it prove popular.
“We’re looking to understand from our customers if it’s useful for them, if they like using it,” Natwest director of strategy and innovation Georgina Bulkeley said.
“Hopefully it will be a really natural experience for them… It should be an effortless payment experience.
NatWest head of payments David Crawford added: “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 it’s great to finally see the cards in the hands of our customers.”