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Discover trials Natural Security biometric payments

05 November 2012  |  11472 views  |  5 fingerprint on laptop

Discover Financial Services is working with French outfit Natural Security to pilot a system which combines biometrics and contactless cards to enable customers to pay with their fingertips.

Discover has agreed to experiment in the US with Natural Security's technology, which lets users pay by placing their fingers on biometric readers.

The biometric data is linked to a contactless card, which will work as long as it is within one and a half meters of the terminal, meaning it can be left in the user's pocket or bag.

Troy Bernard, global head, emerging payments, Discover, says: "I believe that leaving your card in your pocket, simply touching a reader, and having the peace-of-mind that your payment is secured by your fingerprint is a right step in delivering that desired payment experience. Equally important, there is minimal impact to the existing payments infrastructure as the transaction can be magnetic stripe or EMV-formatted."

Cedric Hozanne, CEO, Natural Security, adds: "With our technology, a user can be quickly and reliably authenticated, whatever their needs, for example making purchases in-store, online shopping or home banking, withdrawing money on an ATM and access to premises or a PC."

News of the Discover deal comes on the heels of the start of a six month pilot in two locations in France involving several of Natural Security's bank owners.

Comments: (5)

Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 05 November, 2012, 17:07 Just as I mentioned several times here at Finextra, "mobile" does not have to mean "phone" when it comes to payments... GSMA are well aware of that threat.
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John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne | 06 November, 2012, 04:47

I am all for the future development of cashless payments.  This is certainly one in the aforementioned class of transactions.  Using one’s fingerprint in order to authenticate one of your transactions, is certainly taking identity to another level of authenticity. I am all for this sort of development. The only valid criticism that I feel needs to be discussed is one of hygiene.  I am assuming that one has to touch a fingerprint reader in order to execute a transaction.  If that is the case, developing a reader that does not rely on physical touch should be urgently looked at.  If nothing is developed along these lines, the fingerprint reader can certainly be construed as an entity which is as dirty as the cash the entire world is trying to extricate itself from.      

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Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 06 November, 2012, 05:14 As for hygiene, it's a psychological misconception: ATMs, POS terminals, shop and toilet doors, public transport railings, etc - we touch it all daily without any concern.
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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 06 November, 2012, 13:54

I've always been a fan of making a contactless transaction without having to take out the payment instrument - aka contactless card - from my wallet / pocket / bag.  Most recently, I'd commented here that this is so cool that it would have made it into the latest Bond film. Happy to see this technology from Discover. But, I hope that it does not meet the same fate as Pay By Touch, which pioneered payment by fingerprint but flamed out within a year or two of launching but not before guzzling $$$M of VC funds.

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Fareed Jawad
Fareed Jawad - Amazon.in - Bangalore | 08 November, 2012, 12:14

Was'nt there a startup that folded that did the same thing called "Pay by Touch"?

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