How Close Are We to Biometric Credit Cards? Closer Than You Think, Whether You Want Them or Not

With 47% of credit card users claiming some form of card fraud in the past five years, the urge among financial technology developers is to develop credit cards that promise to batten down the hatches against cyber-fraudsters.

That day may be coming sooner than you think.

"The need for a safer biometric credit card has never been clearer," says Chaya Hendrick, CEO at SmartMetric, a manufacturer of biometric, fingertip-based credit cards. "That's why we have spent over a decade in research and development to place a fingerprint reader inside a credit card. Biometric cards are a quantum leap in credit card security and arguably the biggest advance in card security since the invention of the credit card itself."

SmartMetric released its biometric payment card last April at the Smart Card Alliance Payments Forum in Orlando, Fla., and says it's currently "in talks with card issuing banks around the world."

According to the company, the technology relies on an internally-developed "super-thin" fully functional fingerprint reader that is embedded inside the credit card. "The biometric reader is used to turn on the card's surface chip following a fingerprint match and prior to being inserted into card readers or ATMs," the company says in an email to TheStreet. The card technology works with chip-based payment cards, which now number 4.8 billion in a global basis, according to SmartMetric.

The SmartMetric card isn't actually the first in line with a fingerprint card.

"In truth, the technology is already available," says Monica Eaton-Cardone, founder of Chargebacks911, in Clearwater, Fla. "MasterCard first partnered with a company named Zwipe to perform a test run of biometric cards in Europe back in 2014."

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