IDEMIA has collaborated with Fingerprint Cards (Fingerprints) to carry out the first pilot trial for a biometric payment card in Japan.

The trial is set to run on one of the country’s payment network and drive towards the commercial launch of biometric cards.

The new cards integrate Fingerprints’ FPC1300 sensor technology and IDEMIA’s F.Code solution.

The sensor is said to feature low power consumption and improved biometric performance, while F.Code is designed to replace PIN or signature with fingerprint for authorisation of transactions.

This authentication capability is said to offer better security along with the convenience of contactless cards.

Fingerprints senior vice-president of smartcard business line Thomas Rex said: “Japan is renowned for early adoption and, with this initiative, it is once again leading the way in launching the latest digital payment technologies.

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“Importantly, too, the cards work and are processed the same way as standard contactless cards, no upgrades are required to existing acceptance infrastructure.”

Rex further added that the cards will help banks in minimising fraud and gaining customers, while merchants will get optimised biometric authentication process that can increase customer throughput.