South African fingerprint standard for card payments launched

The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) has announced a new specification for biometric authentication on payment cards across the country.

Working in partnership with MasterCard and Visa, the technology is designed to ensure interoperable solutions in South Africa.

The specification enables a range of biometric solutions, from fingerprint verification to palm, voice, iris, or facial biometrics.

However, the focus of the launch on 26 July was fingerprint identification.

PASA does not plan to make the standard mandatory for banks and other places that handle card payments.

PASA said biometric verification is intended to prevent fraud as well as make it easier to pay securely.

The architecture MasterCard and Visa have designed enables biometric forms such as fingerprints to be securely accepted by a biometric reader, encrypted, and then validated.

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South African fingerprint standard for card payments launched