No card, no pin, no signature, no worries. That's essentially how Michel Delaux, CEO and co-founder of Bruz, France-based TazTag Inc. summed up the new mid-range authentication solution his company showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2013 earlier this month in Las Vegas.
The system relies upon a small transmitting device with about the same surface dimensions as a credit card, but somewhat thicker. The user's card and biometric data are stored on the device, which communicates with a fingerprint reader at the ATM or POS to conduct and authenticate a transaction.
Because it uses mid-range rather than near-field communication, the device never has to leave the user's pocket or handbag. The user simply reviews the details on a touchscreen and then places a on the integrated biometric reader to authenticate and confirm the transaction.
The reader exchanges information with the user's transmitter, authenticating that the user and the transmitter are in the same place at the same time. The device requires the authenticating fingerprint and so is useless if it or the data it contains is lost or stolen.
The technology was developed by Lille, France-based natural security, and is being used under license by TazTag.
"Through our work with TazTag we're bringing a completely new generation of authentication to the mass market," said Cédric Hozanne, CEO at natural security. "We strive to be synonymous with speed and security for service providers, banks and shops, while at the same time guaranteeing the protection and privacy of personal data for end users."
According to James Wester, editor of Mobile Payments Today, a sister publication to ATM Marketplace, the solution is being used by Wincor Nixdorf to provide two-factor authentication without a card.
"Wincor hasn't deployed the machines as far as I know, but the proof of concept is there," Wester said. "It's a simpler, more secure, and more convenient form of two-factor authentication."
In the video below, Delaux demonstrates how the technology works in a retail environment. The process would be virtually the same for the consumer using TazTag at an ATM.
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