Introducing a more ‘natural’ approach to payment authentication

Natural security, a pioneering provider of powerful authentication technology, and member of the Biometrics Alliance Initiative, has announced its international launch plans for 2012.

In March this year, natural security will offer the global payments world a preview of the first payment and ID application from its unique authentication solution at Cartes USA and Cartes Asia respectively. The solution is based on a secure element and biometric recognition, combining privacy with user-friendliness.

The use of biometrics enables authentication based on two key components: identification that is unique to the individual, and a smartcard, SD card, or alternative, that is always in the user’s possession at the time of a transaction. The mid-range contactless enabled device means the simple act of placing a finger on a reader is all that’s required for the authentication process. This negates the need to memorise a PIN and makes it both simpler and faster to conduct transactions. Because natural security relies on contactless technology it spares users the need to physically handle the device, thereby optimizing the entire authentication process.

Natural security is also partnering with contactless technology specialist, TazTag, which will see its unique authentication technology integrated into the world’s first biometric enabled Android tablet, the TazPad. The TazPad is a portable tablet incorporating a biometric reader and a certified telecoms standard (provided by ZigBee). The TazPad can be used in retail stores to enhance customer service by providing product information, giving access to loyalty schemes and completing contactless payment transactions securely, utilising biometric authorisation technology provided by natural security.

The authentication data stored on natural security’s pioneering device is unique to the user, so a transaction can only take place when both the user and device are present. This technology ensures the device cannot be used by anyone else in the case of loss or theft. There is also no central database of biometric information and no way of tracing the cards or the data stored on them, making the whole system incredibly secure.

Cédric Hozanne, CEO at natural security, comments; “New technology, particularly when used for verification purposes, is often understandably met with wariness from those both inside and outside the industry. Personal data is a sensitive area, however using biometrics the natural security way is actually much more secure and less intrusive than people assume. We strive to be synonymous with convenience, speed and security for service providers, banks and retailers, while at the same time guaranteeing the protection and privacy of personal data for end users. Our partnership with TazTag makes accepting contactless payments with biometric authorisation simple and fast for retailers to install and use. We hope it will initiate the next generation of in-store interactive services and new payment options for customers.”

Natural security is a founder member of the Biometrics Alliance Initiative, a working collective of users, banks, retailers, integrators, academics and certifying bodies.  The initiative was launched in 2011 to jointly accelerate the progress of biometric technology, and intends to quash previous doubts associated with biometric payment security and access control.  It also aims to develop a systematic approach to biometric technology certification, guaranteeing levels of security and usability – particularly in the banking and payment processing industry.

Natural security intends to further demonstrate its commitment to becoming an educator and enabler for a technological shift to strong authentication processes, by launching the ‘natural security community’ in February, 2012. The group will be the first of its kind in the payments and security space, creating a specific forum for discussion on topics surrounding biometry and authentication, feeding into the natural security ecosystem.


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