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Samsung unveils fingerprint security chip for credit and debit cards

By Roland Udvarlaki January 25, 2022, 6:00 am
Samsung fingerprint payment card credit and debit

Samsung today unveiled the industry’s first all-in-one security chip solution that can read biometric information through a fingerprint sensor. The card – which could be credit, debit, and potentially Mastercard – allows customers to authenticate purchases in stores with a secure processor built-in.

The idea of having fingerprint sensors into payment cards isn’t new, but no company has done it all at once in a single solution. Samsung’s new security chip is embedded in the card itself, and it allows biometric payment cards a faster and safer interaction when making purchases. Contactless already offered a great solution, especially over the past two years, but security was always an issue, as people could technically just pick up a lost card and make a contactless payment with it.

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"The new security IC solution combines a fingerprint sensor, Secure Element and Secure Processor in one chip, with enhanced security features enabled by Samsung’s proprietary fingerprint authentication algorithm and anti-spoofing technology"

Samsung fingerprint payment card credit and debit Source: Samsung

Samsung says that the new technology removes the need to enter or even remember a PIN number, preventing fraudulent transactions made with lost or stolen cards. The new method would only need the person’s fingerprint signature, identifying and authenticating the person to make a safe and secure payment over the counter. While the card’s primary aim is to provide secure purchases, it could also be used to allow people to provide student or employee identification, membership, or building access.

“S3B512C combines a fingerprint sensor, Secure Element (SE) and Secure Processor, adding an extra layer of authentication and security in payment cards,” said Kenny Han, Vice President of System LSI Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “The S3B512C is primarily designed for payment cards but can also be used in cards that require highly secured authentications such as student or employee identification, membership or building access.”

All of the confidential fingerprint information is stored in “a SE that has received globally accredited certifications such as EMVCo and CC EAL 6+.” It’s worth noting that it also passes Mastercard’s Biometric Evaluation Plan Summary (BEPS), and it could, in theory, be used in those cards too. Samsung says the technology uses a proprietary fingerprint authentication algorithm and a Secure Processor that can analyze the unique features of the fingerprint when placed on a sensor and identify it quickly against the one scanned previously.

“To safely and accurately verify the user’s identity, the new IC comes with a proprietary fingerprint authentication algorithm and a Secure Processor that extracts and analyzes the unique features of the fingerprint placed on the sensor. Furthermore, the chip’s anti-spoofing technology prevents unauthorized users from circumventing the security system with illegitimate methods such as artificial fingerprints.”

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