Visa, Mastercard, and the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) have officially launched a biometric authentication standard. The standard will help to ensure that cardholders have access to the same biometric services across South Africa’s financial sector.
BusinessTech reports that PASA first approached Visa and Mastercard about establishing a standard in March of last year. The following September, Visa announced it had developed a biometric standard for EMV card transactions, and that it would be testing the concept with a major South African bank. It isn’t yet clear which bank will be the first to embrace the standard, but with PASA’s backing and both Visa and Mastercard on board—the latter was already testing biometric payment cards in Europe back in 2014—it’s quite possible that multiple institutions will adapt it in the near future. Moreover, the standard could help biometric authentication extend beyond the country’s banks, with PASA CEO Walter Volker asserting that the South African Social Security Agency wants to use the technology for its disbursements.
Meanwhile, the FIDO Alliance authentication standards consortium recently teamed up with EMVCo to develop chip card standards, which could incorporate biometric technology as well.
July 26, 2016 – by Alex Perala