Consumers in France have just completed the first trial of next generation POS payment security – finger print verification.
The pilot scheme, which took place over six months, allowed card holders to forgo providing a PIN code when paying for purchases with their credit, debit or prepaid cards, and instead provide a finger print to prove their identity.
It took place primarily in supermarkets and has proved to be a success, with 94% of the consumers who took part preferring the new security method over Chip and PIN, which has been used throughout Europe since 2005.
Fingerprint security isn’t entirely new, with a number of biometric ATM machines already equipped with the technology in parts of Poland and Japan, but it is yet to take the baton from Chip and PIN.
The technology used is different from traditional finger print scanners, which read the topographic signature on your finger tips, instead, they scan the veins inside your finger, which is much more accurate and gets around the 5-20% false rejection rate of topographic scanners that could make reliance on that technology impractical.
France was one of the early adopters of widespread Chip and PIN use and look set to lead the pack in implementing the next generation in payment security, all whilst the US, which lags far behind Europe, still heavily relies on the archaic and overly abused method of signature verification.