IDEMIA and Zwipe have successfully produced the first samples of a new chip designed for biometric cards. The companies will now move forward with a pilot launch in the second half of 2020, ahead of mass production and a full commercial launch in 2021. Those cards will feature a fingerprint sensor from IDEX Biometrics.
The new chip will serve as the secure biometric element for the next generation of F.CODE biometric cards, which IDEMIA plans to market primarily to the financial sector. It arrives several months after IDEMIA and Zwipe first joined forces in an effort to reduce card manufacturing costs. IDEMIA also has a longstanding smart card relationship with IDEX, and licensed the latter’s on-card biometric enrollment solution in October.
“We strongly believe that the new platform will provide the technological leap needed to shape the future of the biometric payment card market,” said Zwipe CEO André Løvestam. “The progress has further strengthened our conviction that this project will meet not only the time schedule, but also the targeted unit cost reductions on biometric payment cards.”
“This key milestone demonstrates that our next F.CODE generation biometric card development is being executed according to plan,” added IDEMIA Financial Institutions Executive VP Amanda Gourbault.
In 2019, JCB received two CEPI awards for cards that featured IDEMIA’s F.CODE technology. IDEMIA itself was later named as Frost & Sullivan’s Global Biometrics Company of the Year, thanks in part to its accomplishments in the biometric smart card space.
The new chip (and the new cards) should allow IDEMIA to maintain its position at the forefront of the biometric payment cards market. The company is the official owner of the technology, though Zwipe holds the exclusive, global rights to distribute the technology to the manufacturers of other payment solutions.
April 8, 2020 – by Eric Weiss