The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) working in partnership with MasterCard and Visa has announced a new standardised specification for facilitating biometric authentication on payment cards in South Africa.
The new technology framework, which is developed to ensure open interoperable solutions in the country, will allow an array of biometric solutions, including fingerprint verification to palm, voice, iris, or facial biometrics.
Biometric verification aims at preventing fraud and to pay securely. MasterCard and Visa have designed biometric forms such as fingerprints to be securely accepted by a biometric reader, encrypted, and then validated.
PASA CEO Walter Volker said: “As an industry we are proud to have facilitated the world’s first truly interoperable biometric specification that will unlock the benefits of biometric verification and make it available to an open community in a way that is affordable, reliable and secure.”
MasterCard division president for South Africa Mark Elliott said: “Through this interoperable biometric verification standard in South Africa, we can connect a complicated web of players who operate with different rules and technologies.
“Together, we can drive ubiquity, safety, and utility of biometric payments, while helping to accelerate the number of smart and secure biometric payment solutions available to consumers on these platforms.”
Visa country manager for South Africa James Simpson said: “To support wide adoption, it is equally important that solutions are scalable and based on open standards. Building on the current standards, this provides a common, interoperable foundation, as well as encourages innovation in cutting-edge biometric solutions.”