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JCB Co., Ltd. has announced a biometric authentication trial project in a mobile environment. The trial starts November in Japan with JCB testing the usefulness of fingerprint authentication for mobile access to JCB’s on-line cardmember account inquiry service ‘MyJCB’, using NTT DoCoMo’s F505i mobile phone equipped with a fingerprint scanner. In this trial, the participants download the JCB Safety Login i-appli(R) application, developed in cooperation with Fujitsu Ltd., to the F505i mobile phone to verify fingerprints information.
After initial set-up, access to the ‘MyJCB’ service is permitted only if fingerprint authentication is successful. The JCB Safety Login i-appli(R) offers three types of login. Firstly, login using fingerprint information to identify the individual, which prompts the users’ ‘MyJCB’ password to authenticate identity; secondly, login using fingerprints to identify and authenticate the cardmember (no entry of password is required,) and; thirdly, use of a secondary password as well as fingerprint identification and authentication as an additional safeguard.
Biometrics is one of the most promising technologies of the future for upgrading security over a wide range of applications and industries. JCB considers the technology to be an important adjunct to existing signature and PIN methods, and is implementing this trial with the expectation that fingerprints could be used instead of card number and signature/PIN authentication across a wide range of payment situations in the future. In fact, consumers could shop safely and easily with only their bare hands – no card, no signature, no password required.
“This is just a small step in pursuing the possibility of biometrics,” said Masahiro Omoto, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Technologies of JCB Co., Ltd. “However, we are hopeful that such efforts will lead us to create a business environment where our customers can benefit from increased security and comfort in using our payment methods.”
Because management as well as accuracy of the technology based on physical attributes remain issues to be resolved, the current trial is limited to JCB?s own employees, facilitating direct communication.
JCB foresees the linkage of cards and a wide variety of identification media for the ever-increasing diversity of payment situations, and is focusing resources on the issues of security and user authentication to be able to respond flexibly to the market. The current test of biometric technology linking card number and fingerprint is a concrete example of just one of the methods ensuring payment transaction security in the future. Results of the trial will be evaluated for practicality, and will serve to help in the development of new services to meet cardmember needs.
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