French biometric payments trial gets participant thumbs up

Source: Natural Security

Natural Security announces results of the first ever pilot of a new payment method incorporating payment cards, biometrics and mid-range contactless technology.

In partnership with Banque Accord, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Groupe Auchan, Ingenico and Leroy Merlin, the extensive pilot was carried out in France from October 2012 to March 2013, and involved more than 900 consumers.

Fingerprint (Angoulême) and finger vein (Villeneuve-d'Ascq) biometric technologies were tested in real transactions, to study the technical aspects of the project, collect and understand customers' and retailers' reactions, and evaluate the support process, including data enrolment.

Key results of the pilot:

• 94% of participants said they were ready to use this payment option for all of their in-store purchases.
• Almost 5000 transactions were carried out by the participants, showing high adoption rates.
• The average transaction amount was €58.60 euros, 15% higher than the value of the average card payment and highlighting its use a day-to-day solution for significant transaction amounts.
• Participants described the payment method as modern (74%), innovative (71%), secure (61%) and convenient (60%).

The proximity payment system combines:

• biometrics, to authenticate customers and guarantee their presence during transactions;
• a payment card, for storing biometric data and performing user authentication;
• and a case, to enable the card to communicate with the payment terminal.
The combination of mid-range contactless technology with biometrics simplifies authentication so that users can simply place a finger on the reader to be authenticated without having to enter a PIN or handle a device.

Cedric Hozanne, CEO of Natural Security, commented; "The Natural Security standard was developed in response to the demand from banks and retailers for a convenient and secure authentication method that can be used across all online and offline channels. This pilot has been particularly significant in building our technical knowledge of how the standard works in real life transactions, as well as our understanding of customer behaviours and reactions. We'll be using the results to feed into future development, but undoubtedly it's been a success. Consumers are ready for this new type of payment method."

Alongside its European pilots, Natural Security is currently running trials for both online and offline transactions, including payments and access to services, with Discover Financial Services and San Jose State University in the US.

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