EMVCo, FIDO Alliance collaborate on mobile payment authentication

EMVCo, the global payment specification body, and the FIDO Alliance, an industry consortium tasked with developing open, interoperable authentication standards, have announced that they will work together to determine how FIDO authentication standards can support EMV payment use cases.

A key aim of the initiative is to investigate the provision of simpler and stronger authentication for mobile payments using on-device authenticators such as biometrics. This could reduce consumer fraud globally while maintaining a good consumer experience, according to a joint press release from the companies.

The two organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to guide their evaluation as they determine how and when payment use cases provided by EMVCo could be incorporated into the FIDO Alliance technical standards.

Initial activities will explore how FIDO’s authentication protocol might support EMVCo’s cardholder verification technology.  The outcome of this discovery process will shape any future work efforts.

“The payments community wants consumers to benefit from the simplicity of device-based authentication, which could be a fingerprint or facial recognition, for example,” said Jonathan Main, EMVCo board of managers chair. “As the cardholder’s credentials are stored and processed on the mobile device, it means that the cardholder can be verified even if the device is not connected to a network. This initiative, therefore, enables us to effectively combine EMVCo’s payment industry knowledge with the FIDO Alliance’s authentication expertise to deliver cardholder verification that is convenient for the user, sustainable for the marketplace and most important, highly secure, thereby reducing consumer fraud in the mobile payment space.”

“FIDO standards, solely focused on authentication, were designed to complement other technical body efforts,” said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance. “This partnership with EMVCo is a prime example of how industry bodies can work with the FIDO Alliance to use simpler, stronger FIDO authentication to fulfil their own requirements. With the growing use of EMV mobile payment, there is a real need for cardholder verification that is highly secure but unobtrusive for consumers. FIDO standards address that need, and this joint work with EMVCo has the potential to accelerate the global adoption of mobile authentication standards within the payments community.”

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