China Construction Bank pilots biometric cards for digital currency payments

China Construction Bank (CCB) is piloting a biometric ‘hard wallet’ smart card that lets customers store digital yuan and authenticate payments made using the central bank digital currency (CBDC) with their fingerprint.

China Construction Bank logo

The bank has already launched a digital yuan wallet app and the NFC-enabled biometric smart card will enable holders to use the digital currency without needing access to a smartphone.

“A digital renminbi hard wallet resembles a conventional dual-interface smart card, with secure processing, encrypted memory, and near field communication capabilities in the secure element,” explains Idex Biometrics, the Norwegian company providing the fingerprint recognition solution for the CCB card.

“The card’s stored value is further secured with advanced fingerprint recognition and authentication.

“This enhanced level of integrated, dedicated security gives sponsoring organisations such as CCB the confidence to allow higher transaction limits and higher stored balances on card-based ‘hard wallets’ than allowed on vulnerable phone-based ‘soft wallets’.

“Users are afforded both ease of use and a high level of protection.”

A number of other Chinese banks are also developing digital yuan hard wallets and the People’s Bank of China confirmed that consumers will be able to store digital currency on both physical and digital wallets earlier this month.

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