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Electronics Company Pushes for Biometrics in EMV Credit Cards

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August 28, 2014

Electronics Company Pushes for Biometrics in EMV Credit Cards

By Casey Houser
Contributing Writer

A recent news release suggests that the EMV chip card style of credit and debit cards, used widely in Europe, do not extensively defend against fraud of the same type that has been seen in the U.S. Both chips and magnetic stripe cards are vulnerable, and the news states that biometrics can provide a much more robust security solution to the problem.

SmartMetric, a manufacturer of miniaturized electronics, spoke about the problem of EMV and magnetic stripe cards in its recent announcement that its own biometrics-based electronics can help consumers better avoid fraud. It calls biometics a "far more advanced solution," and the company President and CEO Chaya Hendrick says tying a user's fingerprint stored inside a card to a fingerprint verification system that reads from the card would mark a drastic change in overall prevention.

Earlier this year it was reported that fraud in the U.K. rose 16 percent from 2013 to a total of GBP 450.4 million. The largest part of that whole comes from fraud completed through telephone, Internet, and mail order purchases which reached GBP 301.1 million this year. Criminals are reportedly using social engineering tactics to trick people into giving away their PINs and are subverting anti-fraud technology such as that found in EMV chips.

The SmartMetric report says that credit card users in the U.K., which has been using EMV chips for approximately 10 years, experience more than $2.6 million worth of fraud every day. The company also dismisses the use of mobile phones as card replacements because the adoption level of using smartphones in that way is very low.

Instead, the company pushes for the increased use of biometrics, and it says the SmartMetric Biometric solutions is compatible with existing systems architecture. The technology places a fingerprint scanner within EMV cards that can work in tandem with existing PIN technology as a second layer of defense. It is reportedly working toward having its technology built into cards across the globe.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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