Biometric Payment: Why Fiddle with Your Phone?

Apple recently announced that its latest generation of products integrates biometrics and a contactless technology, validating the technological orientation Natural Security has followed since 2008. This approach, which has also been implemented by other mobile phone manufacturers, has the power to transform the market and encourage the development of new uses around authentication. Announcements such as Apple’s prove that there is now a reliable business model for strong authentication as a service, in the form of a fee for each authentication performed on behalf of a third party.

The user experience introduced by Apple is also revolutionary, but the need for users to carefully handle their phone means there is still room for improvement. The mid-range wireless technologies that are becoming prevalent (e.g. Bluetooth Low Energy) can offer a more fluid experience by allowing users to leave their phone in their pocket or purse. The action used for authentication in Natural Security’s standard, for example, involves simply placing a finger on a biometric reader in the presence of a connected mid-range wireless personal device.

Natural Security Alliance developed this user experience to meet the needs expressed by retailers and banks. The specifications are available to all actors in the mobile ecosystem, including phone manufacturers, operators, card schemes and banks.

The standard can be implemented in different form factors and brands of phone to reach beyond users with high-end mobiles and address a much larger audience.

Natural Security’s approach forms part of its evaluation and certification strategy for guaranteeing authentication interoperability within the Natural Security ecosystem.

This authentication standard was developed using Privacy by Design, and is fully compatible with all services requiring authentication (e.g. payment, access to online services, digital signatures, physical and logical authentication). Natural Security authentication is therefore compatible with all payment technologies, including EMV and tokenization, so issuers can choose the wallet or payment method they prefer.