Biometric payment card launched for vulnerable people

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 leading biometrics company Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints™). The companies have created and launched a biometric payment card, tackling barriers that traditionally prevent vulnerable people in Britain from accessing financial services.

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

Before the integration of Fingerprints technology, the Money Carer Card relied on the PIN as a means of authentication. Vulnerable cardholders, or their caregivers, 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 biometric payment card simultaneously simplifies the checkout process and improves security.

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

The next generation caregiver cards come from Tag Systems, which include the second generation T-Shape® (T2) sensor module, software platform and Fingerprints algorithm. Tag’s unique Biometric Card as a Service (BCaaS) offering, including payment processing, enables Money Carer to seamlessly issue next-generation cards. The biometric payment card will soon be available via the Money Carer website and app. Up to five cards with biometrics can be issued for each Money Carer account.

Adam Philpott, CEO of Fingerprints, says: “Our main goal at Fingerprints has always been to make strong authentication easy. We are extremely proud to be part of a project that directly addresses the barriers that traditionally prevent vulnerable people from accessing financial services. This is a perfect example of how technology can be used to drive inclusivity.”