Visa has partnered with Mountain America Credit Union and Bank of Cyprus to conduct pilot projects for a new EMV dual-interface biometric payment card with chip and contactless transaction capabilities.

Managed through the Visa Ready for Biometrics programme, the pilots aim to test an on-card biometric or fingerprint recognition as an alternative to standard authentication such as PIN or signature.

Biometric technology supplied by Gemalto will be used in the Bank of Cyprus pilot, while the Mountain America Credit Union pilot will involve technology from Fingerprint Cards and Kona-I.

Visa head of global merchant solutions Jack Forestell said: “The world is quickly moving toward a future that will be free of passwords, as consumers realise how biometric technologies can make their lives easier.

“As electronic payments expand dramatically around the world, Visa is committed to developing and investing in emerging capabilities that deliver a better, more secure payment experience.”

The new payment card is embedded with a fingerprint sensor that leverages data from previously enrolled fingerprint template to authenticate the user.

This type of authentication with unique biometric data is expected to minimise fraud. The card can be used at any existing terminals that accept contactless or chip-based payments.