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Royal Bank of Scotland trials biometric payment fobs

Holyrood

Royal Bank of Scotland trials biometric payment fobs

Royal Bank of Scotland has launched a three-month trial of the use of biometric payment fobs, which will allow customers to make contactless payments without a bank card or mobile phone.

The first biometric fingerprint payment fobs issued in the UK, the devices will allow users to make contactless payments using fingerprint verification for transactions up to £100.

The trial will see 250 customers use the fobs, which features a small fingerprint reader, at existing contactless and chip and PIN terminals.

Under the scheme, a customer registers the fob using their mobile phone. When they present a fob, a light indicates that the fingerprint has been matched successfully.

The trial comes after the bank successfully piloted the use of biometric debit and credit cards.

RBS said it is not possible for someone else to use a fob for contactless transactions, though the devices can also be blocked using a mobile app if it is lost.

It said biometric data is never shared with the merchant or the bank and is encrypted on the device.

The trial is in partnership with Visa and Giesecke+Devrient Mobile Security.

Jeni Mundy, managing director, UK and Ireland, Visa, said: “Following the launch of the UK’s first biometric debit card earlier this year, we are again pleased to collaborate with NatWest on this pilot. Our research tells us that people have a strong interest in biometric technologies which can make their lives easier as well as increasing the security of their payments. At Visa we are constantly looking for ways to innovate with our partners to give consumers greater choices in how they pay.”

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