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Natwest to pilot biometric payments in UK with contactless key fob

Natwest announced a three month pilot program with Visa and Giesecke & Devrient Mobile Security to test the first biometric key fob from a U.K. bank for contactless payments. 

The bank, a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland, has previously tested biometric payment cards, but will now test biometric fingerprint verification on fobs with 250 customers.

This new test will examine whether biometric fingerprint scanners can authenticate payments up to 100 pounds ($131) without the need for a mobile phone or bank card. 

"After the successful pilot of our first biometric debit card we are looking at how we can further develop the technology and push the boundaries to further integrate it into our customers' everyday lives," David Crawford, head of Natwest Effortless Payments, said in a company release. 

The fob can be used at existing chip and PIN terminals without any additional hardware. When a customer scans the contactless fob, a light goes on at the terminal to indicate the transaction is done. Biometric data is not shared with the merchant or bank, and transactions are encrypted. 

Cover image: Natwest.