Samsung baked a fingerprint scanner into a credit card

On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, Samsung Electronics introduced its first all-in-one biometric payment card. The card utilizes a smart all-in-one fingerprint security system, which combines a fingerprint sensor with a secure processor and a secure element. This helps add an extra layer of authentication for payment cards.

Samsung

β€œThe 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,” Samsung’s Vice President of System LSI Marketing, Kenny Han, shared in the announcement.

The new security feature should allow for faster and more secure transactions, especially when making purchases in stores. Because it utilizes your fingerprint, you won’t need to worry about remembering a PIN. This should remove the possibility of bad actors stealing your information at checkout, making it harder for your card’s details to fall into the wrong hands.

The new system builds off previous foundations created around biometric functions. With this iteration, Samsung plans to pull all of the pieces into a single module, which should provide some additional security from bad actors.

Are fingerprints actually more secure?

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The answer to this question is honestly a bit difficult. On one hand, fingerprints seem more secure because they offer a unique biometric signal for your card to rely on. However, it is important to note that fingerprints – like any type of security login – can be mimicked or copied (via Kraken). But that doesn’t mean that fingerprints aren’t secure.

In the case of Samsung’s new payment cards, the company has integrated technology that it says should help prevent any spoofing or attempts to circumvent the security system. Samsung’s solution utilizes an encrypted data system, which stores the fingerprint data in a tamper-proof Secure Element (SE).

The system then uses a proprietary system to confirm the fingerprint, ensuring it’s the same one registered to the card and not an artificial attempt. Essentially, Samsung claims that your card can’t be accessed using a fake fingerprint or via bypassing the fingerprint.

Of course, we’ll have to wait to see just how well this technology comes across in real-world use. If it does work, though, it should provide a sense of security for users that are interested in transitioning to a card that utilizes biometric elements.

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