Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
Amazon to Bring Biometric Payments to All Whole Foods Stores
Amazon will bring its palm-based payment system to all Whole Foods stores by the end of this year, the company has announced. First debuted at AmazoGo stores in 2020, the Amazon One payment system came to select Whole Foods stores the following year, and is now deployed across 200 Whole Foods locations. Amazon says about 3 million customers have enrolled amid “growing demand”, and is now pledging to bring the devices to all of its ~500 stores in the near term.
UK Facial Recognition Startup Raises $1.2M
Facia, a London-based facial recognition startup, has raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Programmers Force, a developer of AI products for businesses. In a statement announcing the funding, Facia claimed to have developed “the fastest liveness detection system,” and asserted that its facial recognition technology was already being used to help businesses on a global scale. Facia was founded last summer.
OneID Teams With IDVerse
OneID has established a partnership with IDVerse that will allow it to integrate the latter’s digital identity verification technologies to its own platform, which relies primarily on partner banks to confirm the identities of its end users, and also supports biometric security. IDVerse, which rebranded from its previous moniker of OCR Labs last month, offers a suite of identity tools including biometric liveness detection and age verification. OneID highlighted IDVerse’s use of generative AI technology to train biometric systems in such a way as to avoid algorithmic bias based on demographics like race, gender, and age.
FPC Sees Improved Sales in Q2
Fingerprint Cards saw a 74 percent jump in sales in the second quarter of this year, compared to Q1 of 2023. The improvement was, to some extent, expected: In its Q1 update, the company reported significant drops in revenues and EBITDA due to “intense price competition” and subdued demand for the phones and PCs that use its fingerprint sensor technology, but anticipated a gradual improvement starting in Q2. There are still headwinds. Sales in the payments and access verticals were lower in Q2, and FPC’s overall operating result was a loss of SEK 75.7 million; but inventories went down 26 percent since Q1 and FPC’s cash position increased 20 percent.
NEC Wins Philippines Rail Contract
NEC Corporation has won a contract, in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation, to provide communication systems and an automated fare collection system for the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) currently under development in the Philippines. The NSCR project is being undertaken by the Philippine Department of Transportation with financing from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), while the contract itself was awarded by Hitachi Rail STS S.p.A. A statement announcing NEC’s contract win made no mention of plans to implement biometric technologies, bot the company is well known for its NeoFace facial recognition solution, and authorities in the Philippines have increasingly looked to biometric tech for their security and digital transformation needs.
Hong Kong Extends Biometric Border Processing Availability
Hong Kong’s Immigration Department is expanding the availability of self-service screening for re-entering the city to more categories of foreign workers and students, starting Friday. The city-state’s self-service screening system asks registrants to first verify their identity using a mobile app. From there, they can scan a QR code or an ID card when re-entering Hong Kong at a self-service kiosk, with a facial recognition scan completing the automated screening process. The service extension is expected to make it available to about 420,000 additional users.
July 20, 2023 – by Alex Perala