Q+A with Jean-Luc Dubois, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Directeur Offre Moyens de paiement

Can you tell us about your company?

Crédit Mutuel Arkéa is a cooperative bancassurance group comprised of Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne, Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest and Crédit Mutuel du Massif Central, as well as about twenty specialist subsidiaries. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa is a global bank, open to everyone. As a creator and distributor we’re able to offer clients a complete selection of financial products, including banking, inheritance and insurance services. As a regional bank, we’re committed to maintaining our decision-making centres in local regions, but the group extends across the nation and in Belgium we currently employ 8,700 people, serving 3.2 million customers.

When did you join the Natural Security Alliance?

We joined the Natural Security Alliance in 2008.

Why did you join the Alliance?

Payment methods are in a profound and constant state of flux. We have to anticipate the possible technological and sociological developments so that we can provide our customers with payment tools that are increasingly secure, simple and efficient. Being part of the Alliance gives us access to this. The implementation of biometrics into this ecosystem also brings exciting new opportunities.

Which areas of the Alliance are you involved in?

We are principally involved in the marketing working group to help position this technology as close as possible to the needs of retailers and individuals. We also help provide the necessary intelligence on structural trends in the banking market, which helps to light the road ahead for the Natural Security Alliance.

In your opinion, what are the current issues the market is facing regarding strong authentication?

The payments ecosystem has become far more complicated and diverse in recent years. Online commerce has brought new practices and introduced new ways to make purchases. These multichannel innovations, such as payment by QR code, smartphones, etc. provide solutions to specific problems. But, to attract customers, they must also provide a similar level of security for proximity payments. Strong authentication using biometrics provides a modern and efficient answer to this problem.

What do you consider to be the key element of an authentication method?

The key concern of any new payment method for customers is, and always will be, trust. In this respect, the Natural Security Alliance technology provides the guarantee that the biometric data of customers never ends up in a database, because it is instead stored on the personal device. A huge experiment of biometric-based payments, carried out by Natural Security Alliance in the Angoulême region of France last year, has shown that this solution is highly valued by customers.

What is the urgency for developing a new authentication method?

Our priority has to be the education of our clients, but also in making sure the wider industry is aware of these security questions and privacy issues.

What are your next steps regarding the Natural Security Alliance and use of the Standard?

There are two main steps to take so that we can see widespread use of the Natural Security Standard. First, we need to work with the card networks (GIE CB, Visa, Mastercard) so that they validate this technology within their networks. Meanwhile, we must also convince the wider commerce industry of the benefits of this technology with regards to the fight against fraud and also optimising the customer buying experience, whether in-store or online. Achieving this will help pave the way for use of the Standard throughout the payments eco-system.