Jordan Kuwait Bank to Launch Region’s First Contactless Biometric Cards Using Thales Technology


French tech company Thales to provide Jordan Kuwait Bank with biometric contactless Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) bank cards allowing customers to authorize transactions using their fingerprints, marking the first contactless EMV biometric bank card of the region.

Thales biometric cards will provide EMV payment solutions on existing contactless, chip and PIN terminals or online, the company said on Wednesday.

An EMV card is a credit or debit card with an embedded electronic chip designed to enable secure payment at point-of-sale terminals.

The initiative was driven by the increased need of customers for fully contactless payment options in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, said Suhail Salman, head of retail at JKB.

The EMV biometric contactless bank card integrates Thales’s advanced payment solutions, according to which “the use of the fingerprint is more convenient than the four-digit PIN code and safer being a completely contactless experience”, a- he declared.

The use of digital payment methods has grown rapidly since the start of the pandemic, as fear of contagion means people are avoiding using physical money. Globally, digital payments are expected to reach $ 8.3 trillion in 2024, up from $ 4.4 billion last year, Statista said.

In May, the payments company Mastercard said that 97% of 1,000 consumers surveyed in the UAE plan to use at least one new digital payment method such as wearable devices, biometrics, digital currencies or QR codes. over the next year. This compares to a global average of 93 percent.

Many people are already using fingerprint biometrics on their smartphones to unlock screens, log into an app or make a payment without having to remember a PIN, according to a video on the Thales website.

Now, fingerprint biometrics are also coming to cards. With a biometric card, users will only need their fingerprint to confirm a purchase through a contactless terminal. The user’s biometric data will be stored in the card, according to the video.

Thales biometric cards will be distributed to Jordan Kuwait Bank Mastercard World Elite customers who will register their fingerprints on the biometric card. They don’t need to go to a branch to register their fingerprint, the company said.

During a contactless payment transaction, the fingerprint will instantly be compared to the cardholder’s biometric data, which is stored in the card.

“We have ensured that the fingerprint scanners embedded in EMV biometric cards use the latest pioneering technology to ensure fast, contactless and secure transactions for JKB customers,” said Nassir Ghrous, senior vice president of banking and payment services for Southern Europe, Eurasia Region, Middle East and Africa at Thales.

These cards can be used at ATMs and for online purchases, Thales said.

The card is supplied by the card terminal. When a customer presents it, a green light on the card indicates that the fingerprint has been successfully matched.

With fingerprint recognition, cardholders are automatically authenticated, without the need to enter the PIN code on the point-of-sale terminal to validate a transaction, the company said.

Updated: September 29, 2021, 12:59 PM


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