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Nov 3, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

In-store payment using your fingerprint coming soon to France

A highly securitised biometric bank card should be available in France by the end of 2018. The card is fitted with a mini fingerprint reader and has already been successfully tested in Japan since the beginning of the year. It represents a way of going beyond the current 30-euro limit for contactless payments. 


A new card fitted with a fingerprint will make its bow in France by the end of the year and should prove to be safer and more practical than current bank cards. According to Le Figaro, it will also allow for contactless payments with no upper limit. Contactless payment is currently all the rage, with usage increasing by 156% between January 2017 and August 2018 according to a study carried out by Mastercard.  

This system however is vulnerable in the event of loss or theft and with a view to correcting this weakness, the CB bank cards group announced on Wednesday 3 October at its annual forum that in collaboration with Idemia and Gemalto, it had created a new biometric card with an integrated fingerprint reader. The card will be available as a beta version from some banks by the end of 2018 / early 2019. 


Code replaced by a fingerprint 


The fingerprint of the bearer will be read by a sensor located in the bottom right-hand corner of the card. This will take the form of a little black square on which the bearer will have to place their finger while at the same time holding the card in the vicinity of the payment terminal. "The fingerprint will replace the PIN code, making payments quicker and more intuitive," the CB Group says. 

Registering of the fingerprint will be done either in a bank or via a mobile application, providing that it has an integrated digital sensor. For security reasons, it will be possible to register prints of two fingers to cover for any injuries. The card will also still function using a traditional PIN code.  


Biometric card successfully tested in Japan 


The biometric card system is as yet unheard of in Europe but has already been tested in Japan in the first half of 2018. According to the CB Group, this trial period was a success, saying: "we had very positive feedback. 87% of users prefer to use their fingerprint rather than their PIN code." 

The new biometric card will be compatible with payment devices in stores and will break through the 30-euro limit applied to contactless payments. "The high levels of authentication enabled by the usage of biometric verification means that contactless payments of higher sums can be authorised," the Group explains. 


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