The UK’s first biometric debit card launched by NatWest

The UK now has its first biometric fingerprint bank cards in circulation.

NatWest is currently running a trail of the biometric card with 200 customers. On transactions above the £30 contactless limit, customers can use their fingerprint as verification. This feature increases security and makes paying for goods or services at the till easier because there is no PIN required.

This fully integrated card can be used as normal in ATMs, the post office and for digital banking, as well as retaining contactless functionality.

A fingerprint is registered onto each bank card and thanks to new technology, this registration can happen in a customer’s own home. For security, once a fingerprint has been locked onto a card it cannot be changed. Furthermore, the fingerprint is only held on the card itself and not centrally by the bank. Each transaction is verified using data which is encrypted and stored locally on the card.

Because the new cards still works with existing contactless and Chip and Pin terminals, shops will not need to update their technology to take payments.

David Crawford, Head of Payments NatWest said: “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.”

NatWest is working closely with digital security company Gemalto and Visa to bring the service to customers in the UK.

Howard Berg, Senior Vice president, UK Ireland and Switzerland of Gemalto, a Thales Company, said: “We are thrilled to be the first in the UK to bring this exciting payment innovation to UK consumers.

“We’re confident that consumers will love the convenience, enhanced security and great user experience that this new card provides. Biometric authentication and identification is set to transform financial services and we’re proud to be leading the way in this field alongside our partners.”