The widespread use of fingerprint authentication in mobile devices has made many consumers comfortable with the technology. So is Mastercard's test of a biometric payment card a case of plastic catching up to a modern tech trend, or is it instead dragging biometrics back in time?

The challenge is bringing the technology to the point of sale. Most efforts rely on special hardware, such as the fingerprint readers used by the defunct Pay By Touch or, more recently, the Near Field Communication readers required by Apple Pay, which uses the iPhone's Touch ID system as part of the payment process.

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