Physical characteristics such as the face, fingerprints and behavioral characteristics such as voice, body movements (Eye movements), etc are used extensively in biometrics to identify a person. The credit card provider takes note of either one of the biometric characteristics mentioned above for making and storing biometric template in the master computer at the time of issuing the card. The cardholder needs to scan the particular biometric characteristics against a scanning system whenever he was planning to use the credit card for some services.
Biometrics increases the safety, security, and reliability of the credit card system. Moreover, it is inexpensive, fast and easy to use as well. The major disadvantage of biometrics is the loss of privacy. Considering the improvements in electronic transactions, it is necessary to increase the safety of the credit card transactions and the use of biometrics in credit card services seems to be the option for the future.
"A credit card is a thin plastic card, usually 3-1/8 inches by 2-1/8 inches in size, that contains identification information such as a signature or picture, and authorizes the person named on it to charge purchases or services to his account — charges for which he will be billed periodically. Today, the information on the card is read by automated teller machines (ATMs), store readers, and bank and Internet computers" (How Credit Cards Work, 2008). Credits cards are a type of plastic card with a magnetic strip which is used extensively to borrow money or to buy products or services. The cardholder need not carry money always with him for his purchasing needs. He can use the credit cards to purchase an object directly or indirectly through the internet from anywhere in the world. Each credit card may have the name of the card holder affixed and a unique number. Moreover, a personal identification number (PIN) is also provided by the financial institution which supplies the credit card to its customers. This PIN would be useful for the cardholder when he wants to withdraw money from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM).
"At the end of 2005, MasterCard and Visa generated a sales volume of more than $190.6 billion, from the circulation of approximately 56.4 million credit cards across Canada. Credit card fraud statistics show that about $2.8 million was lost due to credit card fraud, from fraudulent use of MasterCard and Visa alone. In total, credit card fraud costs cardholders and credit card issuers as much as $500 million a year" (Credit Card Fraud Statistics and Facts, 2009) Credit card forgery is one of the big headaches faced by the cyber crime investigating agencies. The big problem associated with the credit card is that anybody who knows the card number can use it. Even though many security measures provided by the card supplier for the customers, forgers have better technologies to steal the credit card numbers while the cardholder using it somewhere for his purchasing needs or money withdrawal purposes. Biometrics is a new technology incorporated to credit card uses to prevent the card forgery. Instead of the card number, in biometrics oriented credit cards, the fingerprint, voice or the face of the cardholder .is scanned by the machine so that the forgery can be avoided. This paper briefly explains the credit card forgery and the importance of biometrics in preventing it.