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NatWest readies behavioural biometrics to comply with new EU payment security rules

Written by Mon 15 Jun 2020

Bank working with Visa to develop new technology which could replace banking passwords

NatWest is turning to behaviour-aware biometrics security to comply with tighter European Union payment regulations.

Next year, the EU’s Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) comes into force, which includes the requirement that certain transactions go through additional authentication checks.

SCA, part of the PSD2 regulation, is an extra layer of security designed to prevent fraud and validate that an individual using a card is the actual cardholder.

While most banks are preparing to comply with SCA by introducing an additional password to authenticate transactions, NatWest is touting a less obtrusive approach based on biometrics.

The proposed solution cross-references biometrical data with cardholder behaviours to authenticate transactions in the background, so customers don’t have to pass an extra security stage when completing payments.

The so-called behavioural biometrics solution analyses customer device interactions during transactions against previous transaction behaviours to determine if the cardholder is making the purchase. NatWest said the application will not access or share any private data held on a device.

“We continue to explore biometrics and how they can be used to make payments easier and simpler for our customers,” said Georgina Bulkeley, NatWest director of Strategy and Innovation.

“The success of a pilot of this new technology demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing innovative ways of enhancing customer experience while prioritising security,” she added.

It is believed that NatWest is the first bank to use behavioural biometrics specifically for the purpose of SCA compliance, although Visa said it will soon be offering commercially available behavioural biometric technology to its clients.

“Visa is committed to working with its partners to develop innovative technologies that remove friction for cardholders, increase security and satisfy regulatory requirements,” said Jeni Mundy, managing director, UK & Ireland, Visa.

“Behavioural biometrics has already been deployed successfully for the purpose of fraud prevention, and now, following work between regulators and industry partners including Visa, has been approved as a second layer of security to be used alongside one-time passcodes in the context of Strong Customer Authentication.”

Last year, NatWest revealed it was piloting biometric card payments with 200 customers.

Written by Mon 15 Jun 2020

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banking EU natwest
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