Thales: the first Polish biometric card developed by Thales in the hands of customers

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The first Polish biometric card developed by Thales reaches customers

• Since December 20, the first EMV biometric cards from Poland have reached the customers of Bank Pocztowy. Payment is only made after the biometric verification of the cardholder’s fingerprint.
• The use of biometric authentication in a contactless payment card greatly enhances the security of funds, guarantees user privacy and enables transactions to be carried out at social distance.
• This cutting-edge solution was designed by Thales who not only developed the card, but is also responsible for its packaging and distribution.

Since December 20, Poland’s first biometric card has been available for business customers of Bank Pocztowy. When paying with this card, the transaction is authorized by biometric verification of the cardholder’s fingerprint, regardless of the amount. This ambitious project, which aimed to introduce the innovative means of payment, lasted five months and was the subject of a cooperation between Bank Pocztowy, Fiserv Polska SA, Mastercard and Thales. The latter offers a complete offer, and in addition to the development of the card with a reader for the biometric encoding of fingerprints, it provides modern packaging, product personalization and distribution to end users.

Current COVID-19 pandemic is reducing cash flow and latest research shows Poles are definitely part of this trend1. In addition, card payments represent 62% of all transactions in Poland2 & 3. The new payment card using biometric authentication enables modern, fast and secure cashless payments.

As an experienced supplier 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 guarantee a very high level of security. This authentication method makes it impossible for a third party to use the card, so a stolen or lost card becomes unnecessary. At the same time, contactless transactions are convenient, practice the social distancing necessary in the pandemic reality, and do not require entering a PIN code, which reduces the risk of contact with potential viruses. In addition, the fingerprint reference data is securely stored in the card chip. They are not sent to bank servers, point-of-sale terminals or ATMs, which guarantees the complete confidentiality of the owner.

The new product, currently available to corporate clients of Bank Pocztowy, will also be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in January 2022. The card is a particularly practical alternative for business account holders. Transactions with the EMV biometric card create a mobile payment experience, however, without the need to register the card, for example in a mobile app. In addition, the biometric card will never be unloaded. It gets all the power it needs from point-of-sale terminals for every transaction and is never dependent on a battery.

The Mastercard biometric card offered to customers of Bank Pocztowy has a special fingerprint sensor designed to perform better than mobile fingerprint sensors, as its performance was first approved in the industry by independent and accredited Mastercard laboratories. In order to complete the transaction, the cardholder must place their finger on a sensor. If the biometric data matches those recorded previously, the card indicator light turns green and the payment is processed. In the event that a fraudster wishes to use the card, the cardholder’s assets are protected: the card indicator light turns red and the fingerprint-based transaction is rejected.

“Thanks to an extensive and fruitful cooperation with our partners, this ambitious project was crowned with success and today Bank Pocztowy can offer the first EMV biometric card to Polish customers. This is a revolutionary event in the field of cashless payments in Poland. Until now, in Europe, this modern solution could only be used by French customers “, Says Agata Kontrym-Woś, Member of the Board of Directors, Commercial Director of Banking and Payment Services, Thales DIS Poland. “Concerned about its customers, Bank Pocztowy has opted for innovation and convenience. I have no doubts that new cardholders will appreciate the security and speed of the transaction, which will help to continue the digital transformation of the market.

“Thales, as a supplier of new technologies, is a trusted partner, which is particularly important in an area as sensitive as payment services and data protection. We are delighted that this cooperation allows us to take further steps on the path to the digitization of the banking sector. and allows customers to benefit from practical, innovative and secure solutions. We look forward to continuing the project so that the biometric card can also be used by our private customers ”, adds Marcin Ledworowski, Board Member for Business and IT, Bank Pocztowy.

1) Report of the National Bank of Poland (April 2021) “Zwyczaje płatnicze w Polsce w 2020 r. Podstawowe wyniki badania ”: almost 35% of the people questioned declared a change in their payment habits. Almost 82% of them use cash less frequently (https://www.nbp.pl/systemplatniczy/zwyczaje_platnicze/zwyczaje_platnicze_Polakow_2020.pdf).

2) Survey conducted in October 2020 by the Pollster research center on behalf of the Warsaw Banking Institute (https://www.wib.org.pl/warto-bezgotowkowo-2020-pandemia-zmienia-zwyczaje-platnicze- polakow /).

3) According 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 a payment card has increased by 32% compared to the same period in 2020 and 25% compared to 2019 (https://www.nbp.pl/systemplatniczy/karty/q_02_2021.pdf).

About Thales
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a world 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 that is crucial for the development of our societies. The Group offers its customers – companies, organizations and governments – in the fields of defense, aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security solutions, services and products that help them fulfill their critical role, with consideration of the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.
Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2020, the Group achieved sales of 17 billion euros.

About Bank Pocztowy
Bank Pocztowy, a member of the Poczta Polska Group, offers simple and secure financial services close to the customer through modern digital banking services, its own network and the Poczta Polska network of 4.7 thousand post offices.
The digital solutions offered by Banque Pocztowy include, among others, BLIK mobile payments, GooglePay, ApplePay, GarminPay, AutoPay, Face ID biometric authentication and even Digital Market, a platform allowing customers to request products and services online. form the bank. In October 2021, as the first bank in Poland, Bank Pocztowy introduced Xiaomi Pay mobile payments. It is also the first Polish bank to introduce a biometric card in December 2021.
More than 800,000 clients currently use the services of Bank Pocztowy.
Poczta Polska SA, the main shareholder of the Bank, owns 75% of the shares (minus ten shares). The second is Powszechna Kasa Oszczędności Bank Polski SA which owns 25% of the shares (plus ten shares).


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