By Scott Thompson
A payments trial involving biometric and contactless technologies has kicked off in France.
Natural Security, in partnership with Banque Accord, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Groupe Auchan, Ingenico and Leroy Merlin, has launched a pilot deployment combining a smart payment card, biometrics and mid-range contactless communication. It involves customers of Auchan, Leroy Merlin and associated retailers in Angoulême (close to Bordeaux, South West of France) and Villeneuve d’Ascq (close to Lille, North of France).
Two biometric technologies will be tested during the six-month pilot: digital fingerprints in Angoulême and finger vein patterns in Villeneuve d'Ascq. Customers of partner banks will be invited to visit their bank branch to register their biometric data in their credit card so they can pay for purchases using this method in participating stores. All transactions are authenticated using biometrics and contactless technology, so customers do not have to present their cards or enter a PIN.
Cedric Hozanne, CEO at Natural Security, comments: “This the first time that data is kept exclusively on a smartcard that remains in the user’s possession and is not traceable. Natural Security's approach is designed to protect privacy and personal data: the data and applications used for authentication are stored on a personal device (e.g. smart card, SD card) and remain solely under the user's control. This limits the risk of data misuse and theft. We fully expect that the results of the trial will be positive and we look forward to replicating the success internationally.”