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SmartMetric plans North American launch for fingerprint EMV payment card, loses patent suit


SmartMetric is about to launch its fingerprint-activated biometric payment card for use in North America.

The card, which the company says is the first of its kind in the world, includes a built-in fingerprint reader to authenticate purchases. Specifically, the card ‘turns on’ when the cardholder’s finger is present on the sensor.

Smartmetric is positioning itself to issue its card to customers in the U.S. through a strategic alliance with a bank. The fingerprint activated EMV card will be offered as an “ID and transaction safe” alternative to existing payment systems. The company says it is in discussions with banks in Asia and Europe, planning rollouts for early 2014. Trial releases are planned for later this year.

SmartMetric recently took a big blow in court, after a judge ruled that its long-standing patent lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard was not valid. SmartMetric’s complaint claimed MasterCard and Visa infringed its patent for a system to automatically connect to a network.

As Bloomberg reports, the judge ruled that neither Visa nor MasterCard infringed on SmartMetric’s patents, saying “the parties here are comparing apples and oranges.”

Reported previously, SmartMetric recently announced that it had incorporated NFC technology into its biometric chip card.

Last year, the company announced it received additional funding from private investors and that another million dollars would be added into the company chest to help fund expansion projects in Beunos Aires.


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