Sensors

Biometric payment card for vulnerable people in the UK

13th May 2024
Sheryl Miles
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Money Carer, a UK-based national social enterprise focused on providing secure money management services for vulnerable people, has partnered with global card manufacturer Tag Systems and global pioneering biometrics company Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints).

The companies have created and launched a biometric-enabled ‘carer card’, addressing barriers that have traditionally restricted vulnerable people in the UK from accessing financial services.

In 2010, Money Carer invented and launched the first ‘carer card’ – a secure shopping card solution that enables carers to make purchases for those they care for. The card system has since evolved, offering balance limits, a sweep system, free ATM withdrawals, and spending controls. Today, the Money Carer Card supports hundreds of care providers and thousands of individual carers across the UK and is also used by many local authorities and law firms who are responsible for managing the finances of their own vulnerable clients.

Prior to incorporating Fingerprints’ technology, the Money Carer Card relied on the PIN as a means of authentication. Vulnerable cardholders, or their carers, no longer need to remember and enter a PIN to make a payment. They simply place their selected thumb or finger on the sensor and tap to make the payment at the point of sale. This simultaneously simplifies the checkout process while enhancing security.

Sean Tyrer, CEO of Money Carer, comments: “At Money Carer, we are absolutely committed to promoting inclusivity and autonomy. For many of our clients, especially those with memory or visual impairments, the PIN on a payment card is a barrier that restricts financial inclusivity. With biometrics, our clients will never have to remember or input a PIN again, opening doors to financial autonomy that were previously closed.”

The next-generation carer cards come from Tag Systems, which incorporate Fingerprints’ second-generation T-Shape (T2) sensor module, software platform, and algorithm.  Tag’s Biometric Card as a Service (BCaaS) offering which includes payment processing, allows Money Carer to issue the next generation cards seamlessly.  The cards will be available soon through the Money Carer website and app. For each account with Money Carer, up to five biometrics-enabled cards can be issued.

Adam Philpott, CEO of Fingerprints, comments: “Our primary objective at Fingerprints has always been to make strong authentication simple. We’re extremely proud to be part of a project directly addressing barriers that have traditionally restricted vulnerable people from accessing financial services. This is a perfect example of how technology can be used to drive inclusivity.”

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