Visa develops spec for chip card biometrics

Visa develops spec for chip card biometrics

South Africa’s Absa Bank is to be the first to trial a new Visa specification for fingerprint validation at chip card-enabled ATMs.

The pilot will test a new specification from Visa to embed biometric data - whether from palm, voice, iris or facial recognition - into the 3.3 billion chip cards in circulation around the world.

The specification supports “match-on-card” authentication where the biometric is validated by the EMV chip card and never exposed or stored in any central databases. Issuers can optionally validate the biometric data within their secure systems for transactions occurring on their own tech estate, such as at ATMs.

Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of risk products and business intelligence, Visa, says: “Building on the EMV chip standard provides a common, interoperable foundation, as well as encourages innovation in cutting-edge biometric solutions.”

Absa Bank will be the first to use Visa’s specification to develop a proof of concept trial beginning this autumn. Cardholders will use fingerprint readers at select Absa-owned ATMs in lieu of a PIN to complete transactions.

Visa says it will offer to contribute the technology to EMVCo, the global technical body that manages the EMV specifications, to further develop and administer the standard.

Comments: (2)

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - SME - Fintech startups (APAC and Africa) - India 15 September, 2015, 18:11Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thanks Visa and Absa team for long awaited start. Hope others follow it including mPOS and POS players to leverage it.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 15 September, 2015, 19:17Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Needs all partners in a payment ecosystem to back this for wide adoption: issuers, acquirers and merchants.