The contactless card limit was raised late last year allowing consumers to pay for goods up to £100 without the need for any additional security. It certainly makes things a lot faster when doing the weekly shop at the supermarket but having such a high limit has caused plenty of concern.
As you might be aware, when using a contactless card you simply tap the reader on the till and a payment is instantly made without having to punch in a pin number or sign a receipt for the store to check.
It’s easy to see how the hassle-free system could be abused if someone gets hold of a credit or debit card.
Luckily, it appears Samsung could have come up with a nifty solution to help make things a lot safer.
The tech giant has just revealed a new type of card that has a fingerprint sensor built into the plastic.
That means the card won’t work until the owner places their thumb on the scanner and a biometric match is made.
It’s a bit like the systems already employed by services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay which use the security systems built into smartphones -such as facial recognition – to make sure payments can’t be made without the bank account holders permission.
Samsung says that, thanks to its new security sensor embedded in the card, biometric payments will be faster and safer when making purchases. The biometric authentication removes the need to enter a PIN on a keypad and also prevents fraudulent transactions made with lost or stolen cards as it verifies the cardholder’s identity using a unique and securely stored fingerprint.
It’s unclear if this technology could offer even higher limits than standard contactless cards but it would make sense especially as Apple Pay already allows users to make purchases in excess of £100.
“S3B512C combines a fingerprint sensor, Secure Element (SE) and Secure Processor, adding an extra layer of authentication and security in payment cards,” said Kenny Han, Vice President of System LSI Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “The S3B512C is primarily designed for payment cards but can also be used in cards that require highly secured authentications such as student or employee identification, membership or building access.”
There’s no word on when these cards might start to be made available from banks but hopefully it won’t be too long until contactless payments feel a little more secure.