France interbank network testing biometric payment options
France’s national interbank network, Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB , is currently testing a biometric solution for payment transactions and is expected to approve a Natural Security Alliance-defined authentication standard this year for use in the CB system.
The strong authentication method, which the Natural Security Alliance launched in March, strives to simplify and secure payments by a process in which cardholders place their finger on a biometric reader in store or at an ATM to validate a payment or cash withdrawal.
The system will use fingerprint biometrics in combination with a chip integrated into a keyfob. The network is also looking into the possibility of integrating the chip into the micro-SD card of a mobile phone.
The user stores the keyfob or telephone on his or her keychain or bag, and will never be required to present it physically to pay make a transaction.
“CB must anticipate technological developments likely to be used in payment, and biometry is one of these,” says Gilbert Arira, CEO of the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB. “The banking community believes that biometry can generate added value on both functional and operational levels.”
“Having said that, the technology must respect all requirements of the CB system, notably those of robustness, security and interoperability, key foundations of the trust that CB products inspire. It is on these points that we are working with the Natural Security Alliance. The project is advancing rapidly and the first payment solutions integrating biometry are expected to receive approval by the end of the year.”