The Natural Security Alliance has released the newest specifications for its world first strong authentication standard.

The standard defines a strong authentication method for payment and access to services across all channels (e.g. home, store, branch), without compromising security or privacy. This authentication method combines local biometric verification, a personal device and wireless technology, and can be implemented into various form factors, including a smartcard, micro-SD Card, mobile phone, secure element and token.

New Strong Authentication Specifications Released By Natural Security Alliance
New Strong Authentication Specifications Released By Natural Security Alliance

The latest specifications are the result of a working group of key retailers, banks, vendors and payment specialists involved in Natural Security Alliance since 2008 and represent a colossal 180 man-years of development.

François Laveissière, Director of Innovation Team at Auchan, commented; “Auchan is at the forefront of the retail industry. We continually invest in new ways of delivering best user experience while optimising processes. Natural Security paves the road for proximity payments based on mobile by solving issues such as customer equipment, efficiency and convenience, security and privacy. These new specifications are the next step in bringing the Natural Security strong authentication method into universal use.”

Pierre Lahbabi, Global Head of Marketing and Innovation/Cards and Innovative Payments at BNP Paribas added; “From the beginning we contributed to the Natural Security standard in order to help develop the authentication method needed for our customers. As a bank, we are always looking for standardised solutions. Thus, we are proud to be a founding member of the Natural Security Alliance as it is the right structure to consolidate an ecosystem with or based on this new authentication method.”

Gérard de Moura, Managing Director of Galitt, a consulting firm member of the Alliance agreed: “We are proud that Galitt has been deeply involved in the design of the Natural Security standards. The challenge, which has been successfully achieved so far, was to provide a set of specifications for this new authentication method which can easily incorporate existing specifications (like EMV in payments), while offering a high level of security and convenience. Leveraging the concept introduced by the project initiators, we have been combining a wide range of sophisticated technologies into a consistent and secure set of specifications.”

The newly released core specifications define the architecture and the different components required to enable a transaction based on a wireless acceptance device (WAD) used by an acceptance user (e.g. a retailer) and a wireless personal device (WPD) used by an individual user.

Previous specifications have been successfully tested in a 6-month consumer pilot carried out in France, which gave more than 900 customers the opportunity to test the first implementation of the Natural Security standard for proximity payments. The trial clearly showed that the public both accepted and adopted this biometric authentication method for proximity payments – with 94% of participants saying they were ready to use this means of payment for all purchases in superstores and smaller shops.

The new release of the core specifications is available to Natural Security Alliance members now and currently undergoing the certification process.

The specifications included are:

  • Natural Security General Description [CORE1 / V 2.3]
  • Natural Security WPD Specification [CORE2 / V 2.4]
  • Natural Security WAD Specification [CORE3/ V 2.4]
  • Wireless Personal Area Network Specification [CORE4/ V 3.02]
  • WBIR protocol [CORE5 / 2.4.3]
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