Mercedes introduces fingerprint payments – but are they safe?
Mercedes-Benz drivers in certain territories will soon be able to pay for their fuel with a simple fingerprint payment on their car’s dashboard.
In partnership with Mastercard, customers in Germany will be able to start adding petrol to their vehicles at more than 3,600 service stations with the biometric option.
The fingerprint sensor will be linked to the customer’s Mastercard debit or credit card, eliminating the need for a PIN or mobile authentication app.
Mercedes-Benz claims that the transaction data will be encrypted using uniquely assigned cryptograms, and in turn, protecting sensitive payment information.
“Digital payments are coming of age, and consumers want to embrace new forms that are infused into their everyday experiences and activities,” says Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer at Mastercard.
“From now on, customers can pay their fuel bill directly from their car using their fingerprint – simply, securely, and conveniently,” adds Franz Reiner, chairman of the board of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG, adding that the company is already working on the integration of further services.
According to CEO of identity verification platform, Veridas Eduardo Azanza, biometric data is more efficient for customers to pay, and more secure than carrying around multiple cards as it decreases the risk of theft.
“However, facial and voice recognition offer more advantages over fingerprints,” says Azanza.
“Fingerprints have a higher level of standardisation, meaning they are more susceptible to replication and extractions, making them the less secure option.”
“Certain tech companies are also creating solutions that include an anti-spoofing mechanism designed to detect voice deepfakes.
“With their fraud prevention capabilities, facial and voice biometrics offer a more reliable, secure, and contactless option that rises above the limitations of fingerprints,” says Azanza.
Nico Kersten, CEO of Mercedes Pay, says that Mercedes ensures that card data is saved securely, and it complies with all regulations regarding payment authentication.
“Europe has stringent rules for customer authentication, which protects the customer,” she added.
On World Password Day earlier this year, Google announced a ‘major step towards a password-less future’ by rolling out passkeys – meaning that users will be able to sign into apps and sites by using a fingerprint, face scan, or a screenlock PIN.
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