The French interbank network in charge of governing card payments, Groupement des Cartes Bancaires CB, is expected to approve the use of biometric technology for authentication this year.

The standard was developed by Natural Security Alliance, a Lille, France-based network of financial services firms that develops and tests payment security technology.  

"CB must anticipate technological developments likely to be used in payment, and biometry is one of these," says Gilbert Arira, chief executive of Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, in a June 16 press release.

Under the standard expected to gain approval by the CB bank network, cardholders will be able to store their biometric data on a chip on the inside of a keyfob. The chip will validate payments and allow ATM withdrawals without having to be taken out of the cardholder's pocket or purse.

The CB network is also reviewing integrating the technology into micro-SD cards for mobile phones.

News of the anticipated approval comes just months after Natural Security Alliance began testing a biometric mobile payment system with Discover. The group worked with Discover to develop a hands-free payment system.

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