IDENTOS acquires Precise Biometrics smartcard unit: Q&A with CEO Mike Cook

July 5, 2017 - 

Last month, IDENTOS completed its acquisition of Precise Biometrics’ mobile smartcard solutions business, which includes the business operation involving smartcard readers under the Tactivo brand.

The acquisition aligns with Precise Biometrics’ strategy to further increase its focus on its fingerprint technology business and free up resources for the development and sales of fingerprint technology.

Precise Biometrics said the mobile smartcard solutions business will be reported separately as a divested business operation, with net sales of SEK 13.9 million (US$1.6 million) for the full-year 2016.

Meanwhile, net sales for the remaining business operations in 2017 are expected to be on par with comparable net sales for 2016, which totaled SEK 83.3 million (US$9.5 million).

BiometricUpdate.com had the opportunity to discuss the details of IDENTOS’ acquisition of Precise Biometrics smartcard solutions business, the reason behind the takeover and what the acquisition will entail, with IDENTOS President Mike Cook, and IDENTOS VP of sales for North America, Jeff Scott.

What is the main reason why IDENTOS was interested in acquiring the mobile smartcard solutions business from Precise?

Mike Cook & Jeff Scott: The acquisition of Tactivo was strategically aligned with the IDENTOS business model and our customers who require mobile solutions and smartcard identity integration as part of our encryption platform that supports 2FA. The acquisition enables IDENTOS to develop and incorporate Tactivo in its next generation mobile devices including iPhone 7.

What steps need to be taken in preparing for the January 1, 2018 transfer of the operations?

Transfer of operations includes all assets, production contracts and distribution network that is already in place. Existing Tactivo customers do not need to do anything to prepare for January 1st operationally, the transition will be seamless for customers with only minor updates to the contracts that support the Tactivo.

How will these smartcard solutions be introduced to the company’s customers and partners? Will they be altered in any way or is it just simply a case of rebranding?

The Tactivo brand will be preserved as an IDENTOS product line and will be complemented by our existing product lines including smartcard hardware and encryption software solutions. Customers can expect to continue to have a choice of the existing hardware and chipsets offered by the Tactivo brand. In addition to the current models and next generation of Tactivo products customers will have available to them a line of Encryption as a Service, Secure messaging and derived credentials software that is available today.

What are the actual solutions that are covered in the acquisition?

The acquisition covers all of the hardware, software and trademarks for the Tactivo line.

Aside from the solutions themselves, what other components does the acquisition cover?

The only additional item covered in this acquisition will be the transfer of the North American sales team member Jeff Scott. Jeff had worked on the development and sales of the Tactivo in North and South America from 2012 as the VP of sales for Precise. From July 2015 to June 2017, Jeff remained with Precise as a sales consultant.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.