Hebdo Financial News: You recently launched an innovative payment solution. This is the first contactless biometric bank card. Specifically, what does this payment method bring to the customer and how does it work?
Loubna Haji: The payments market is constantly evolving. Its players must constantly innovate to deliver unique and unprecedented user experiences. It is important for us to reposition ourselves as an innovative and distinct bank. It is within this framework that we have launched and will launch several technological innovations this year, including the biometric card. Our client thus lives new unique experiences.
The greatest advantage of this card, beyond experience, is the ability to make payments without ever touching the merchant’s TPE (this is a key point in the context of the health crisis). It also happens to everyone to forget their code: with the biometric card it is not a problem because you pay with your finger. More concretely:
• The card has a connector that allows the cardholder to register their fingerprint in seconds.
• A fingerprint sensor is integrated in this card which makes it unnecessary to enter a PIN code on the TPE. All you have to do is put your finger (previously registered fingerprint) on the card at the time of the transaction.
• The biometric check is carried out directly on the card providing additional security in order to avoid cases of fraud.
FNH: What about the data security aspect?
HL: The Visa Infinite Biometric card allows the use of two fingerprints for biometric checking based on strong authentication at the time of the transaction. The two fingerprints are not stored either on the card or on the connector (registration reader). Fingerprints cannot be accessed. Only certain points or particular aspects of the fingerprint image are acquired and encoded in a mathematical representation. The fingerprint image can never be reconstructed from this data, because it is only partial. Of course, the release of this product was authorized by the National Commission for control over the protection of personal data (CNDP).
FNH: Do you plan to roll out this technology to other bank card ranges soon?
HL: The use of fingerprints has become familiar with smartphones. This allows you to no longer enter your PIN, and above all to use the card for unlimited contactless transactions for operations of less than 600 DH. The biometric card is therefore a reassuring technology in the era of barrier gestures and brings even more serenity and security to our customers. We initially chose to only offer this feature on a premium card. We are studying its generalization to all our cards (as an option).
FNH: Just before launching the NFC Woop payment bracelet, also the first in Morocco. What are the customer feedbacks on this product?
HL: This is a new product in Morocco that has very satisfied our customers. It is a very practical means of payment because it is simple, fast and safe. We have also been asked by customers who did not fit into the target category to subscribe. By listening to them, we are studying the possibility of extending it.
FNH: Finally, in your opinion, are these innovations capable of reducing the circulation of cash in Morocco?
HL: According to the latest CMI report, the domestic business of Moroccan cards continues to grow with + 19.1% in the number of transactions. The payment activity was more dynamic than the withdrawal activity, with an increase in payments of + 33.9% in the number of transactions (vs. the withdrawal activity with a + 15.3% in the number of transactions) in the first 9 months of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. We can therefore see that the dynamics of payments through TPE and Ecom is started and that it will be further strengthened by these innovations that allow to stimulate the use of cards even more.