Payment technology

Natural Security Alliance announces authentication specifications

Natural SecurityThe Natural Security Alliance, an association of banks, retailers, vendors and card schemes dedicated to wireless biometric authentication, announced last week the release of the specifications for its authentication standard.

The standard provides for a strong authentication method for payments across numerous channels by combining local biometric verification, a personal device and wireless technology.

The core specifications define the different elements required to allow a transaction on a wireless acceptance device used by an acceptance user, such as a retailer, and a wireless personal device.

More than 900 customers in France took part in a six-month pilot of the specifications—94 percent of participants in the pilot said they were ready to use the payment method for all purchases.

“Natural Security paves the road for proximity payments based on mobile by solving issues such as customer equipment, efficiency and convenience, security and privacy,” Francois Laveissiere, the director of the innovation team at Auchan, an alliance member, said. “These new specifications are the next step in bringing the Natural Security strong authentication method into universal use.”

Biometrics used in the payment standard replace or complement PINs to allow for transactions only when both the user and device are present. The standard can be integrated into a number of existing technologies, including micro-SD card, mobile phone secure element, token and smartcard.

Launched last November, the alliance’s membership has grown to include MasterCard, Credit Agricole, Ingenico, UL, Swiss Capital International, SesameTouch, PayCert and Oberthur Technologies, along with numerous other banks, payment processors and financial services companies.

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