Fingerprint-enabled smart card

I am wondering what other Monzonauts think about this:

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When a criminal or a person that is not the rightful card owner tries to scan his finger on the sensor, the match between the scanned finger and the stored fingerprint fails and the secure cpu signal “fraud detected” to the smart microcontroller that immediately stop any communication with the contact or contactless reader.

This seems weak particularly. I’ve had plenty of times when fingerprint scanner on my phone failed to match. I’m assuming it allows few attempts before frying the card… Without any details how reliable scanner is, I don’t think I would trust it enough.
Fingerprint seems to be reliable, but is it really? It didn’t take long to fake fingerprint on ios.

Might be unreasonable, but I’m afraid it could encourage thief to cut off my finger. :scream_cat: Since thief wouldn’t be sure what thumb I used, I might even lose more than one. :scream_cat: :scream_cat: And opposable thumbs are really dear to me, my right one is responsible for doing ‘back’ on mouse, I really need it.

And last, but not least, I will get a refund if my card is stolen, so I don’t necessarily go crazy for card security. Yeah, I would like to save myself from hassle and problems, but if I know that my card is stolen, and I report it quickly, not a lot of damage can be made in the first place. Monzo did change that, because I will know a lot sooner when my card is misused, it’s very likely that thief would only commit 1-2 fraud transactions before I’d notice in normal situation.

TL;DR version: nice concept indeed, but I’ll pass. :smiley:


We’ve already got a device that recognises your fingerprint and has a screen. It’s a smartphone. Adding these features to a card just increases their cost to produce. Not sure where Mastercard are going with this but it’s a solution for which a better answer already exists. Really can’t see it taking off beyond a trial.

Not everyone wants to lug a phone around all the time and may just want a card in a wallet/purse, also these cards can be used while your phone battery is dead or on charge


It would be amazing if you issued biometric cards so we can use our cards with chip and pin and contactless, while having the security and convenience of just using our fingerprint.


Welcome to the community @Yahya!

Out of interest, has anyone here ever used one of these biometric bank cards? I think NatWest trialled them at one point.

It’s nifty in theory, but I always think back to my old dell laptop which had a finger print reader, which had, at best, a 10% success rate and eventually just stopped working at all. In fact that’s been my most consistent experience with consumer-grade fingerprint biometrics prior to Apple launching Touch ID, and I fully expect those biometric card to be more similar to my dell experience than the Touch ID experience people may be hoping for out of these.

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One day.


Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are exactly that. Unless I am missing something :thinking:

Reinventing more ways to perpetuate the need for plastic cards when we all carry around ultra secure devices capable of using a variety of biometric sources to identify the holder seems a bit like a step backwards to me


Sometimes you just need to use chip and pin, and a fingerprint sensor will make it much quicker and more secure.

Plus if you lose your contactless card, someone can’t pick it up and spend money, since they’d have to put their finger on the sensor.

You can search ‘biometric bank card’ on YouTube to see what they’re like

I think the solution would be to remove the need to use chip and pin, and instead switch to biometric payments using the device we already have (a phone) which the bank doesn’t need to pay for (biometric card)?

Alas, my phone does not always read my fingerprint, especially in the current environment whereby my hands are sanitised before I go into a shop and buy something :man_shrugging::man_facepalming:

I’ll actually pay just to get the card

The main issue is cost. At my work (new tap to phone POS for e-commerce) we have relationships with various companies who sometimes send their “new” stuff so we can check compatibility, including a couple of these.

Most plastic cards cost less than £1 to the issuing bank, these things cost upwards of £12 PER CARD! Card present contactless fraud is low compared to online fraud and therefore I can’t really see how any bank could justify using them as some sort of anti-fraud cost saving measure. Maybe as a marketing win for more premium accounts? Even then it seems totally unnecessary.

Undoubtedly pretty cool tech, I am an engineer after all, but seems nonsensical from a practical standpoint.