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Morpho wins NZ Customs eGates contract, forms biometrics research partnership


Morpho (Safran) announced that it signed a new 5-year agreement with New Zealand Customs Services (NZCS) through to 2020.

The announcement comes a couple of months after it was revealed that the New Zealand government is investing asset sales to fund an additional 29 next-generation SmartGates at its airports.

As a result, NZCS will rollout an initial nine new generation Morpho e-Gates this year at Auckland international airport, with the option to purchase new and replacement gates over the next five years across major New Zealand airports.

“SmartGate has been very well received in New Zealand, with over 13 million travelers having successfully used the technology since its introduction in 2009,” said Carolyn Tremain, comptroller of New Zealand Customs Service. “We are expanding the capability to ensure we continue to stay at the forefront of passenger processing efficiency and border security, and enhance the passenger experience.”

The contract also covers a biometric research partnership that will see NZCS and Morpho collaborate to advance global research in facial recognition.

Through this partnership, NZCS and Morpho will work toward the goal of improving the accuracy of the recognition algorithms embedded on the eGates, while providing an even higher level of security at the border while further reducing the false rejections of legitimate travelers.

“The new generation SmartGate is a clear reflection of our collaborative approach with NZCS to pave the way for the future of border control solutions in the region,” said Tim Ferris, managing director of Morpho’s local subsidiary, Morpho Australasia. “This new technology has the capability to further simplify and speed up border processing whilst offering the highest level of security for our borders.”

Since 2009, New Zealand’s Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports have been using SmartGates to provide eligible travelers with a self-processing passport checking option.

The SmartGates use facial recognition technology to compare facial images of the traveler against the data contained in the e-Passport’s chip.

The new generation SmartGate speeds up traveler processing with a one-step process, eliminating the kiosk and ticket component of the current system.

Additionally, the new e-Gates are smaller, feature Morpho’s latest workflow and biometric matching software, and are capable of adding other biometric capabilities such as fingerprint or iris recognition at a future stage.

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