IDEX Biometrics is deepening its relationship with China’s Tongxin Microelectronics Co. (TMC). The two companies started working together in 2019 to advance the commercialization of biometric payment cards, and their technology has already been featured in two cards that have been certified under the China UnionPay scheme.
Now IDEX and TMC will be collaborating on a new reference design for cards geared toward China’s Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DC/EP) initiative, which is expected to launch ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022. To that end, IDEX and TMC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make and market a joint reference design that combines an IDEX fingerprint sensor with a secure element (SE) from TMC.
Prior IDEX and TMC cards have featured IDEX’s TrustedBio sensor and TMC’s THD89 SE. The new agreement will specifically target the Chinese market, where their eventual reference design is intended to serve as a turnkey solution that makes it easier for Chinese card manufacturers to release their own biometric card offerings.
IDEX and TMC will search for other applications of fingerprint authentication technology once the reference design is complete. In that regard, they noted that TMC has a high profile in the transportation and ticketing sector, and indicated that they will work with other tech companies associated with the Tsinghua Unigroup in China. Most notably, they will work with smart card inlay specialist Linxens to strengthen their smart card reference design.
“This memorandum represents a formalization of the next step in our companies’ relationship,” said IDEX CEO Vince Graziani. “Our partnership now will go beyond technical collaboration to joint marketing in China.”
IDEX’s fingerprint technology has already been featured in several DC/EP projects, including a digital DC/EP wallet from Chutian Dragon. The company has also partnered with Infineon to create a separate biometric payment card reference design geared toward other markets.
November 25, 2021 – by Eric Weiss