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Gemalto launches the first biometric EMV card for contactless payments

Gemalto has been selected by Bank of Cyprus to supply the world's first EMV biometric dual interface payment card for both chip and contactless payments. Using fingerprint recognition instead of a PIN code to authenticate the cardholder, the card is compatible with existing payment terminals already installed in the country. When customers place their fingerprint on the sensor, a comparison is performed between the scanned fingerprint and the reference biometric data securely stored in the card. 

The biometric sensor card is powered by the payment terminal and does not require an embedded battery; this means there is no limit from battery life nor on the number of transactions. ​

A biometric solution and enrolment process designed to ensure optimal user privacy

Gemalto's biometric sensor payment card is based on the principle that biometric data should always remain in the hands of end users. Bank of Cyprus' customers will complete the swift enrolment process at the bank's branches, using Gemalto's tablet designed for the solution. The biometric personalization and card activation process is designed to avoid transmission of biometric data over the air to ensure that users' data privacy is protected. The fingerprint template captured during the enrolment process is stored only on the card.

"Bank of Cyprus customers will be first in the world to enjoy biometric convenience on a contactless payment card. Gemalto's biometric sensor payment card is designed to provide maximum security and data privacy" said Bertrand Knopf, Gemalto's executive vice president Banking and Payment. "Using biometrics for contactless payments is a natural move as it fits in naturally with the gesture used to pay. It allows a better user experience, enabling higher transaction amounts without entering a PIN while benefiting from the convenience of contactless"

"In order to bring seamless authentication to the banking sector, Gemalto has leveraged its extensive expertise from secure government documents and leadership in biometric applications", said Stelios Trachonitis, Card Centre Manager from BOC "Our customers will benefit from this innovative payment solution with the peace of mind that their biometric data never leaves their hands".

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