INTERVIEW: Bruce Hanson, President & CEO, Credence ID

FindBiometrics President, Peter O’Neill had an opportunity to speak with Credence ID CEO, Bruce Hanson. The conversation concerns Credence ID’s participation at this week’s ID4 Africa conference and the exciting new products being announced by the company during the exhibition.


INTERVIEW: Bruce Hanson, President & CEO, Credence IDPeter O’Neill, President, FindBiometrics (FB): Credence offers a broad line of mobile products focusing on enrollment, identification and verification; can you please review your product lineup for us?                                                                                                                                                                    

Bruce Hanson, President & CEO, Credence ID (CID):  Hello, Peter.  Good to meet with you today.

The Credence product line has expanded quite a bit since we last spoke and we’re very excited about the new additions. We now have five products in production.  They range in price and features starting with the elegant and easy to use card reading and fingerprint verification device called “CredenceGo”.  The next level of features come in the “CredenceOne” and “CredenceOne-MRZ” devices. These products not only capture fingerprints but can also do facial recognition and they read all of the standard smart cards, both contact and contactless, and the MRZ version has the additional capability of reading the machine readable zone of virtually all modern travel documents. We are very excited about the MRZ version of that product because we see a lot of demand for travel document reading along with the biometrics and standard card reading. We believe this is the only Android device of its kind.  Then there is the “Trident”, which I think you know about.  That product does finger, face, and dual iris capture. It has an industry leading FAP 45 TFC LES fingerprint reader; a high definition 5” display; it captures both eyes very quickly and simultaneously in all lighting conditions.

CredenceTab

The newest product form Credence ID, the CredenceTAB, is being introduced at this week’s ID4 Africa conference.

Our newest product which we are announcing at the ID4 Africa conference this week is called the “CredenceTAB”. We are especially excited about this device. We did a lot of customer research and interviews on what would be the ideal larger-format ID product. The CredenceTAB features a 10” HD display, a FAP 30 TFT LES fingerprint sensor, and an e-passport reader so that it can read both the MRZ section of a passport as well as the embedded chip in the cover of the newer passports.  A major feature is that the MRZ reader in this device is a non-swipe reader, meaning it’s a stationary scanner.  The user does not need to do the awkward sliding motion of the passport to read the MRZ.  This is especially helpful in a handheld device that is less stable than a device that sits on a desktop. The CredenceTAB also reads all forms of contact and contactless smart cards. So this new product was in response to one of our premiere partners, Gemalto, requesting a full-featured device to go after travel related ID projects, especially because there is so much opportunity around migration and travel.  They wanted the extra real estate and richer GUIs possible with a 10” screen along with the very high quality fingerprint sensor, passport reader, and card reader. Of course, all of our products are based on the Android OS for easy application development and all the communications capabilities one would want.

So that is our lineup. We now have those five products all in production and available now.

FB: Well your product line certainly has broadened quite a lot since we last chatted! You were recently invited to present at the prestigious Montgomery Technology Summit, can you tell us about this please?

CID: We were thrilled to be selected to speak about biometrics and credentials at that the Montgomery conference. We were in the track dedicated to “up-and-coming” companies and it was very flattering that they sought us out to contribute as a smart mobile biometrics company. We got to do our own break out session, kind of TED-talkish session, and we are pleased by the follow up from that. We made several strategic partnerships that we think are going to be very beneficial going forward.

FB: Speaking of strategic partners, you work with a lot of integrators and partners, does this help you move into a lot of different vertical markets globally?

CID: We are extremely proud of the work our partners do around the world. We now have about 40 value added resellers and development partners that leverage the Credence ID family of devices as well as our software development kit (SDK) and the CredenceCloud. These partners utilize their unique skills and relationships to provide the best solution for each customer. Their strengths may be in a particular region such as Africa or in a specific vertical like banking or social services. We are also seeing a significant increase in activity in Latin America which is part of the reason we brought on Rob Garrigan.

FB: When we last spoke, you were talking about some of the new projects in Panama and Columbia in the banking area. Could you give us a bit of an update on what is happening in that area?

credence-one-home-hand

CredenceOne handheld biometric devices are used in Columbia and Panama to approve credit card access for bank customers in their offices or homes.

CID: Yes. Latin America in general, as well as banking as a vertical, is expanding rapidly for us. In banking scenarios, we are seeing many banks now doing outreach to potential account holders where they are needing to verify their identity in a mobile way in order to facilitate that individual opening up an account. So in Panama and Columbia several banks have come together and are using our platform to do just that. They send a bonded courier out to the intended account holder and collect their biometric data and use the 3G cellular network capability of our devices to cross-check that identity against the central database for the country and get a “match” or “no-match” from that database and now that they have a positive ID on that person they can go ahead and transact and open up that bank account. So banking is of course very important to us and that vertical is beginning now to be very fruitful. But it is not unlike what we are seeing in other verticals: healthcare, insurance, telecom, social programs and general KYC taking place around the world. Public safety of course and law enforcement have always been an important part of our customer base, so banking joins these other verticals in now reaching out to customers and verifying the identity of a potential account holder. We like to say that any transaction that is important is worth knowing who you are transacting with first. So our solutions fit very well into that model.

FB: It sounds like your year has been very good. I noticed you have expanded your North American sales presence with the addition of a senior business development person Rob Garrigan. Could you tell us what is next for Credence?

CID: Rob is a great addition for Credence ID and he is already building a team and elevating our presence in the Americas.  Additionally, we are very excited to be attending the ID4 Africa conference this week in Rwanda.  Africa continues to be a very exciting place to do business. A place where many countries have decided to make that critical, strategic decision to go ahead with a national ID program. At this point there about 130 countries around the world that have decided to do that and many of them are in Africa.  We now have reference accounts in the region and very pleased to take the lead in the region for mobile identity solutions. The additional products that I spoke of earlier, the tablet version and the CredenceGo are both being announced at that conference and the public is going to be able to see them for the first time there.

We have several other press releases hitting during the conference. We just did a press release regarding our partnership with Invixium, a company that has fantastic time and attendance solutions. They make Android based stationary devices that perform time and attendance and we have partnered with them to now offer a mobile solution that seamlessly runs their software. We are happy to say that their software has been ported over and clients that need a mobile biometric and credential reading solution for time and attendance can now get that in one solution offering.

Another exciting thing is that we are opening an office in Geneva, Switzerland. Our EMEA practice has grown to the point where we feel the need to establish a presence in Europe. I guess it is official that we are not only a Silicon Valley company but also have a regional office in Geneva as well.

FB: Well Bruce you certainly have a lot going on with Credence. Congratulations on all the good news and on your growth. I look forward to hearing more about your future activities and good luck with the show this week.

CID: Thank you Peter, it has been a pleasure talking with you.