Why Prepaid Cards Require Fingerprint Sensors to Enhance Security

Welcome to the fifth blog post in our series on prepaid cards. Art Stewart, Global Head of Sales & Marketing, IDEX Biometrics, explains the necessity of the fingerprint sensors for contactless smart cards to enhance security.

Although a cashless society has been anticipated for years, Generation Z look set to become the first true cash-free natives. The significant rise in the popularity of the prepaid or debit card heralds this new digital age and allows children and young people to learn about money management from as young as six.

With only 19% of transactions in the US now being conducted with cash [1], it’s natural that children should start using prepaid cards from a young age. There are many smart card providers for consumers to choose from, including GoHenry, Greenlight, Busykid, and Famzoo, which means that there is an option to suit the requirements of most families. However, one of the major drawbacks of prepaid pocket money cards is trusting young children to be responsible owners. There are security issues like the loss or theft of their children’s cards, which can make parents nervous. The simple solution to increase consumer confidence is to integrate a fingerprint sensor, adding a much-needed extra level of security.

The Question of Security

As anyone with children will know, belongings are often mislaid at an alarming rate! While this can be irritating for parents, when the item is a school book or sports kit it is easily overlooked, however, when it’s a prepaid card loaded with significant sums of money, it can become a serious concern. The risk of theft, too, can cause real stress for parents, particularly as the growing prevalence of these cards can make them more likely to be targeted by thieves.

At present, there are insufficient security measures for alleviating such worries: after all, passwords and pin numbers are open to abuse and misuse. Part of the reason parents use prepaid cards is to give their children first lessons in learning about managing their own money. It is therefore important for this market that a solution is  found to balance these important life lessons with the reassurance of robust security protocols without eliminating the convenience.

Fingerprint Sensors Are The Answer

The ultimate solution can be found in biometric smart cards, which combine ease of use with an effective security measure for pocket money or prepaid cards. By adding a fingerprint sensor to a payment card, providers can ensure that only the owner can make payments or access cash with their card.

These sensors are easy to use, as they capture and match the card-holder’s fingerprint for each transaction, without this personal data ever leaving the card. It means that there is no need for an additional PIN or password, and the sensor itself is durable enough to cover the card’s life span.

Another benefit of using fingerprint sensors is that children are already familiar with using such technologies. The majority of smartphones and other devices are already making use of this authentication method for unlocking screens or accessing payments or permissions. This means that using biometric authentication will already be an automatic and natural behaviour.

Biometrics Lessens Worries

The addition of fingerprint sensors to pocket money cards means that the worry of a child losing the card, or it being stolen, will no longer be a major issue. Parents can be reassured that the money on the card will always remain accessible to their child alone.

[1] https://spendmenot.com/blog/cash-vs-credit-card-spending-statistics/