Stripe acquires biometric software provider Touchtech Payments to support GDPR requirements

With GDPR mandating the introduction of strong customer authentication (SCA) by September 14 of this year, Stripe has acquired mobile biometric software provider Touchtech Payments and launched a suite of new products for online businesses.

Stripe notes that regulation to require stronger authentication in India reduced the conversion rates of some businesses by more than 25 percent after it went into place in 2014, and says that hundreds of thousands of online merchants will have to upgrade their payment systems or face blanket rejection of their transactions. The company quotes Aite Group Senior Analyst Ron van Wezel as saying “SCA is a ticking time bomb for the European payments industry.”

Touchtech Payments provides advanced authentication technology based on smartphone biometrics for credit card issuers. The company provides customer authentication for leading European fintechs and challenger banks, Stripe says.

The Dublin-based company was relatively early offering fingerprint authentication systems certified by Visa and MasterCard, and expanded its operations into several countries in 2017.

“On the modern internet, payments should be everything you’d expect: easy, secure, and fully compliant with the latest regulations. Unfortunately, these three attributes are often at odds with one another, making it nearly impossible for an individual business to keep pace with regulatory changes and build a great payments product experience for their customers,” says Stripe Chief Product Officer Will Gaybrick. “Touchtech adds yet another layer to the economic infrastructure Stripe is building for the internet, which is designed to help businesses comply not only with SCA but also with the entire next generation of regional payment regulations.”

The acquisition took place in February, according to Techtech’s website. Touchtech will continue to develop its products, working out of Stripe’s Dublin Engineering hub.

The new Stripe products include a pre-built checkout page optimized for SCA which can be integrated with just a few lines of code, a suite of tools for subscription businesses, and dynamic support for SCA exemptions on low-risk transactions.

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