Cryptocurrency payment card offers robust security

August 21, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Cryptocurrency startup Unikeys (Hong Kong) has announced a biometric cryptocurrency payment card featuring an embedded fingerprint sensor.

The card's biometric features are a result of a partnership with security technology firm MeReal Biometrics (Hong Kong). The battery-powered fingerprint card employs RFID technology, Bluetooth, a fingerprint sensor, and acoustics to enable and secure cryptocurrency payments at stores.

Shaped like other payment cards, the UKey card is an offline hardware wallet designed to host multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Once a user's fingerprint data are registered and stored in the card's Secure Element, the card can then biometrically authenticate the user for each transaction.

According to the company, the card serves as a payment card in either contact or contactless modes, and enables secure cryptocurrency and token-based payments at the point of sale (POS). The card provides a bridge, says the company, that will help fill the gap between traditional credit card payments made at merchant POS terminals and a POS capacity to receive crypto payments securely.

The card acts similarly to a credit card, but with cryptocurrencies and tokens rather than a bank account number. With the UKey card, a user controls the currency on the card, as opposed to it being on the Internet.

The company is reportedly currently in talks with several companies regarding the adoption of crypto payment functionality among merchants. The company says it is also planning to launch a pilot for its solution in Hong Kong, as well as elsewhere around the world.

In addition, the company is reportedly developing a payment terminal with NFC and Bluetooth functionality that can capture tag reads and forward the collected data to a phone or tablet via a Bluetooth connection.

Unikeys

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