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India firm planning to introduce iris authentication payment solution


National Payments Corporation of India is planning to roll out an iris-based authentication system that will enable customers to authenticate purchases without a pin or password, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The biometric authentication technology, which would be the first application of its kind in the country, will also lower the chances of password-related frauds.

NCPI is expected to launch the pilot project between March and May 2016, according to individuals familiar with the matter.

The national payments agency is also in partnership discussions with both large public and private banks.

“It is the next-generation authentication technology which can make the transaction processes simpler and faster without compromising on security,” AP Hota, managing director and CEO at National Payments Corporation of India. “NPCI is fully committed to participate in the innovation.”

Aadhaar cards already contain the iris impressions of its applicants, which will be matched with captured iris images at the time of purchase authentication, when the feature becomes fully operational.

In leading the initiative to introduce iris authentication, NPCI has already approached Bengaluru-based IT solutions firm NovoPay to develop the platform, according to individuals familiar with the matter. Additionally, NPCI is currently in the process of attaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

Indian banks currently offer four options to authenticate banking transactions — password or pin, fingerprint, one-time password, and a handwritten signature — all of which have a higher chance of manipulation or distortion than iris-based verification.

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