• Since 20th of December, Poland’s first EMV biometric cards are coming into hands of Bank Pocztowy’s customers. The payment is realized only after the biometric verification of the cardholder’s fingerprint.
• The use of biometric authentication in a contactless payment card significantly enhances the security of funds, ensures users’ privacy and allows transactions to be carried out at a social distance.
• This state of the art solution was designed by Thales which not only developed the card, but is also responsible for its packaging and distribution.
When paying with this card, the transaction is authorised through biometric verification of the cardholder’s fingerprint, regardless of the amount. This ambitious project, which aimed to introduce the innovative mean of payment, lasted five months and involved cooperation between Bank Pocztowy, Fiserv Polska S.A., Mastercard and Thales. The latter provides a comprehensive offer, and apart from developing the card with a reader for biometric fingerprint encoding, it furnishes modern packaging, product personalization and its distribution to final users.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reduces cash circulation and the latest research shows that Poles are definitely part of this trend1. In addition, card payments account for 62% of all transactions in Poland2 &3. The new payment card using biometric authentication enables modern, fast and secure cashless payments.
As an experienced provider of biometric technologies, Thales pays particular attention to security in the development of new solutions. It is important to recognize that cashless transactions with biometric verification ensure a very high level of security. This authentication method makes it impossible for a third party to use the card, so a card which has been stolen or lost becomes useless. At the same time, contactless transactions are convenient, let us practice the necessary social distancing in the pandemic reality and do not demand to enter a PIN code, which reduces the risk of contact with potential viruses. Also, the fingerprint reference data are securely stored in the chip of the card. They are neither sent to bank servers, POS terminals or ATMs, which guarantees the complete privacy of the owner.
The new product, currently available for corporate customers of Bank Pocztowy, will also be targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in January 2022. The card is a particularly convenient alternative for business account holders. The transactions with EMV biometric card create a mobile payment experience, however, without the need to register the card e.g. in a mobile application. In addition, the biometric card will never be discharged. It gets all the energy it needs from the Point-of-Sales terminals for each transaction and never relies on a battery.
The biometric Mastercard card offered to Bank Pocztowy’s customers has a special fingerprint sensor designed to work better than mobile fingerprint sensors, as its performances have been homologated for the first time in the industry by independent and Mastercard-accredited labs. In order to realize the transaction, the cardholder needs to place their finger on a sensor. If the biometric data matches the one recorded previously, the light on the card turns green and the payment is processed. In case a fraudster wants to use the card, the cardholder assets are protected: the light on the card turns red and the fingerprint-based transaction is rejected.
"Thanks to extensive and fruitful cooperation with our partners, this ambitious project has been successful and today Bank Pocztowy can offer the first EMV biometric card to Polish customers. It is a breakthrough event in the field of cashless payments in Poland. So far, in Europe this modern solution could only be used by French customers,” says Agata Kontrym-Woś, Member of the Board, Sales Director Banking & Payment Services, Thales DIS Poland. “Caring for its clients, Bank Pocztowy has opted for innovation and convenience. I am convinced that the new card owners will appreciate the security and the rapidity of the transaction, which will contribute to further digital transformation of the market."
"Thales as a provider of new technologies is a trustworthy partner, which is particularly important in such a sensitive area as payment services and data protection. We are delighted that this cooperation allows us to reach further milestones on the way to digitalization of the banking sector and enables customers to benefit from the solutions that are convenient and innovative, yet secure. We are looking forward to continuing the project so that the biometric card could also be used by our individual customers", adds Marcin Ledworowski, Member of the Board for Business and IT, Bank Pocztowy.
1) National Bank of Poland report (April 2021) „Zwyczaje płatnicze w Polsce w 2020 r. Podstawowe wyniki badania”: nearly 35% of respondents declared a change in payment habits. Nearly 82% of them use cash less frequently.
2) Survey conducted in October 2020 by Pollster resarch centre on behalf of the Warsaw Banking Institute.
3) Acording to the „Informacja o kartach płatniczych” of the National Bank of Poland for the second quarter of 2021, the number of non-cash transactions using payment card increased by 32% compared to the same period in 2020 and by 25% compared to 2019.
Thales (thalesgroup.com) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers businesses, organisations and governments in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.
Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020 the Group generated sales of €17 billion.
About Bank Pocztowy
Bank Pocztowy (pocztowy.pl), a member of Poczta Polska Group, offers simple and safe financial services close to the Customer through modern digital banking, its own network and the Poczta Polska network of 4.7 thousand post offices.
Digital solutions offered by Bank Pocztowy include, among others, BLIK mobile payments, GooglePay, ApplePay, GarminPay, AutoPay, Face ID biometric authentication or Digital Market, a platform enabling customers to apply for the Bank's products and services online. In October 2021, as the first bank in Poland, Bank Pocztowy introduced Xiaomi Pay mobile payments. It is also Poland’s first bank to introduce a biometric card in December 2021.
Over 800 thousand Customers currently use services of Bank Pocztowy.
Poczta Polska S.A., the main shareholder of the Bank, holds 75% of the shares (minus ten shares). The second is Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności Bank Polski S.A. that holds 25% of the shares (plus ten shares).