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by Caronese Tait | Aug 01, 2016
The Payments Association of South Africa Announces Countrywide Biometrics Standard for Payments
The Payments Association of South Africa collaborates with Mastercard and Visa to create interoperable biometric specification

South Africa – July 26, 2016 The Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) today announced a new standardised specification to facilitate biometric authentication on payment cards.

Working in partnership with Mastercard and Visa, this technology framework is designed to ensure open interoperable solutions in South Africa. The specification enables a range of biometric solutions, from fingerprint verification to palm, voice, iris, or facial biometrics.

Financial institutions, solution providers, and others in the South African payments system can now rely on an interoperable and consistent infrastructure for supporting biometrics.

Biometric verification is intended to prevent fraud as well as make it easier to pay securely. The architecture Mastercard and Visa has designed enables biometric forms such as fingerprints to be securely accepted by a biometric reader, encrypted, and then validated.

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,” said Walter Volker, CEO of the Payments Association of South Africa.

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,” added James Simpson, Country Manager for Visa in South Africa.

“Through this interoperable biometric verification standard in South Africa, we can connect a complicated web of players who operate with different rules and technologies,” said Mark Elliott, Division President for Mastercard, South Africa. “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.”

About PASA

PASA is the payment system management body recognised by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), in terms of the National Payment System Act of 1998, to organise, manage and regulate the participation of its members in the payment system.

About MasterCard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardMEA and @MastercardNews join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the MEA Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard Communications Contact

Birgit Deibele, tel +27 11 780 3958 birgit.deibele@mastercard.com

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers,businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants.
Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers.Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.

Welcome to PASA

South African Reserve Bank LogoPASA is the payment system management body recognised by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), in terms of the National Payment System Act of 1998, to organise, manage and regulate the participation of its members in the payment system.


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