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UK ecommerce MFA rules take effect as biometrics providers win fintech clients

UK ecommerce MFA rules take effect as biometrics providers win fintech clients

The rules around online transactions continue to tighten, with the UK requiring stronger authentication through factors including face and fingerprint biometrics for internet purchases. Three biometric solutions providers, meanwhile, have entered new fintech-focused partnerships, with Trust Stamp joining forces with Viva Finance, Onfido with Wallester AS, and FacePhi adding Hites to its client roster.

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules requiring either a possession-based factor or a biometric authentication factor for online purchases in the UK have gone into effect, The Guardian reports.

The change was made in an attempt to reduce the £376 million (US$489.5 million) in losses to online fraud reported in 2020, and brings the process for online purchases closer to that of opening a bank account.

The new rule does not apply to “low risk” transactions like inexpensive purchases or prescription refills. Mastercard says about 25 percent of online purchases will need a second authentication factor.

Research from the financial industry shows an increase in declined transactions as payment card issuers began to implement the changes, but a representative of the British Retail Consortium says consumers can be assured that online shopping “has never been safer.”

Trust Stamp enters collaboration with Viva Finance

The move will see Trust Stamp provide Viva Finance with its biometric verification, document validation and data protection services.

The solutions will be integrated within Viva’s platform, which aims to provide individuals with thin credit histories to establish a framework for long-term financial health.

The company does so by enabling access to affordable credit with loans underwritten by employment history as opposed to credit score.

“We are thrilled to partner with Trust Stamp to further our mission of building an inclusive financial system,” comments Viva’s CEO Jack Markwalter.

“This partnership will allow us to prevent would-be identity thieves from using our application, while not adversely affecting honest people who may have thin or no credit history.”

The partnership with Viva comes weeks after Trust Stamp unveiled the launch of a new identity orchestration platform.

FIS Global, meanwhile, reveals in a company blog post on identity theft that it is utilizing Trust Stamp’s tokenized biometrics as part of its KYC process to ensure the person holding a device a request is coming from is who they say they are.

“The Trust Stamp and FIS partnership means secure, low-friction transactions for customers through tokenized biometrics,” explains Kinny Chan, Trust Stamp’s chief commercial officer. “These tokens protect payments, combat imposter fraud in peer-to-peer money transfers and authenticate crypto wallet ownership seamlessly.”

FacePhi wins onboarding contract with Chilean retailer

Spain-based FacePhi has signed up Chilean retailer Hites for its selfie biometrics and digital onboarding technology to enable customers to apply for a Hites credit card online.

Hites operates 27 department stores across Chile, and is the country’s fifth-most important retailer, according to the announcement. Its selection of FacePhi consolidates the latter’s position in Chile, which the company gained a foothold in during 2021.

“It is a satisfaction to consolidate our presence in Chile hand in hand with a historical company such as Hites, whose initiative in the digitization process will mark the path of the financed retail industry for the coming years,” explains Jorge Sanz, CRO of FacePhi.

Wallester AS selects Onfido for biometric customer onboarding

White-label Visa card issuer Wallester AS has selected Onfido for its know your customer and anti-money laundering verification services.

Following the beginning of the partnership, Wallester users will be able to sign up by taking a photo of their government-issued identity document and a selfie or a short selfie video.

According to Wallester, the collaboration will enable the company to offer an advanced KYC verification system to both fintech companies and other clients.

“KYC verification is a must-have for any responsible fintech company, so it was vital for us to find a reliable partner that aligned with our client onboarding objectives and requirements,” explains Wallester CEO Sergei Astafjev.

“The quality of Onfido services for KYC verification and authentication is second to none. As a result, Wallester can offer their clients the easiest and most convenient onboarding while efficiently solving fraud.”

Onfido has also recently partnered up with TSB.

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