National Bank of Kuwait has collaborated with Mastercard to introduce a new biometric credit card, which comes with an integrated fingerprint sensor for additional security for in-store payments.

The pilot project is said to be the first such programme in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

The new credit card can be used at existing EMV terminals and does not require any new upgrades, while the transactions made using the card will be authenticated by verifying the user’s fingerprint.

Additionally, National Bank of Kuwait and Mastercard unveiled the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region’s first Identity Check solution designed for biometric verification during online transactions.

The Mastercard Identity Check uses identifiers such as fingerprint, facial and voice recognition to verify a user’s identity through their mobile device, eliminating the need for password or security questions.

Under the collaboration, the co-branded Mastercard Identity Check for NBK app will be available for Apple and Android devices.

Mastercard division president of MENA region, Khalid Elgibali said: “Our joint research with the University of Oxford has proven that 93% of consumers prefer using biometrics to remembering passwords.

“These next-generation authentication solutions are no longer based on what you remember, but who you are – a fundamental difference that brings new levels of convenience to consumers, while further enhancing security.”

NBK group CEO Isam Al-Sager said: “Our long-standing partnership with MasterCard enables us today to introduce the most advanced and first of its kind service in the Middle East, allowing customers to use the Selfie Pay service as well as biometric cards.

“These new services come in line with NBK’s endeavours to offer the latest technologies in the banking sector as demand for easier and safer banking services continue to increase.”