France’s national interbank network, Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB, is currently evaluating the use of biometry in payment transactions and is expected to approve a strong authentication standard, defined by Natural Security for use in the CB system, before the end of the year.
The objective of the authentication method defined by the Natural Security Alliance is to simplify and secure payments. The cardholder simply has to place his or her finger on a biometric reader in store or at an ATM to validate a payment or cash withdrawal.
The first CB approval will involve the association of biometry and a chip integrated into a keyfob. Integration of the chip into a micro-SD card of a mobile phone is also being studied. Highly convenient, the user keeps the keyfob or telephone on his or her person, for example in a pocket or handbag, without needing to present it physically to pay or withdraw cash.
Beyond the fact that biometry simplifies authentication by the single act of placing a finger on a reader and without the need for a confidential code, it reinforces security because the cardholder must be present for the transaction.
Moreover, the implementation of this solution respects the user’s privacy and personal data protection, as the user’s biometric data is not stored in a centralised database, but remains in the chip integrated into the key ring or telephone.
Gilbert Arira, Chief Executive Officer of the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB comments: “CB must anticipate technological developments likely to be used in payment, and biometry is one of these. 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”.
For Cédric Hozanne, CEO of Natural Security Alliance: “The approval process commenced by the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB is an essential step for adoption of our technology in payment and cash withdrawal. Its approval will enable French banks to offer their clients a new payment method that through reinforcing security will bring simplicity, peace of mind and practicality. CB was the first to adopt and promote use of the chip card as early as 1992, which has since been adopted by all other countries. With the Natural Security standard, CB is once again showing the way forward for the secure payment industry.”
About Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB
Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB is a non-profit organization acting as the governing body of the CB payment scheme to provide a universal and interoperable card payment and ATM cash withdrawal scheme in Europe. End 2013, CB has 126 members, comprising both banks and payment institutions worldwide.
CB is responsible for the system’s overall architecture, inter-member rules & procedures and risk management. CB also defines technical and security standards, and ensures that manufacturers and vendors whose products and services are used in the CB system comply with these standards.
Furthermore, CB operates an information system, providing its members with high performance data mining tools and countermeasures in the fight against fraud.
CB is one of the largest card payment schemes in the European Union with 61.7 million cards, 58,624 ATMs, 1.3 million CB merchants and a very significant activity comprising 10 billion card transactions and a turnover of 524 billion euros in 2013. For more information, visit www.cartes-bancaires.com.
About Natural Security Alliance
The Natural Security Alliance is a global community of preeminent companies dedicated to accelerating the adoption and ongoing development of Natural Security Technology based solutions. The Natural Security Alliance is comprised of some of the most influential companies in world from the retail, banking, payment provider, and IT Communities. All Alliance members share a strategic commitment to delivering mission-critical authentication and payment solutions based on secure element, wireless and biometric technology. Visit www.naturalsecurityalliance.org for more information.