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NatWest to Trial Fingerprint-Activated Debit Cards

NatWest to Trial Fingerprint-Activated Debit Cards

UK-based bank NatWest is set to trial a new form of debit card with built-in fingerprint activation. The trial will begin in mid-April, and will allow users to make NFC payments (also known as “contactless”) without entering a PIN or providing a signature. When using a card with a built-in fingerprint scanner, the regular £30 GBP (approx. $39) limit will not apply to transactions.

This is not the first time that cards with biometric data have been trialled, with banks in the UK, Italy and South Africa all trying the system since 2015. Fingerprint scanning has become an important part of mobile payments including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

NatWest’s trial is set to include 200 people, all of whom will have to visit their local branch in order to register their fingerprint. The fingerprints will be stored locally on the card, meaning that there will be no central bank of data for potential hackers to access.