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Banque Accord testing biometric payment system in French supermarkets


For the last five months, Banque Accord has been running a pilot scheme, which involves several hundred volunteers testing a biometric authenticated payment solution in Auchan supermarkets in France.

To pay for their purchases, consumers in the test have been given a wireless personal network (WPAN) enabled Mastercard, which is a combined with the use of biometric fingerprint reader.

This strong dual-factor authentication solution, that is enabled by technology from Natural Security, reduces long line ups at the checkout counter and does not require the use of centralized biometrics databases. The privacy of consumers therefore cannot be compromised. Such strong security enables the solution to remove the imposed payment limit of 30 Euros, which is usually attached to contactless payment transactions in Europe.

Natural Security, whose ownership is divided among several French banks (Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel Arkea, Banque Accord and BNP Paribas), retailers (Auchan and Leroy Merlin) and a payment solutions provider (Ingenico) also envisages use of technology for online transactions and at ATMs.

“Our system makes transformative use biometrics, which is typically used as an alternative form identification,” said Cédric Hozanne, CEO of Natural Security. “We transform biometrics into a method of strong authentication through the use of a secure personal portable technology, Mastercard in this instance, and through the integration of biometric data, ensure our application enables secure payments.”

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