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Biometrics and online authentication, payments, fingerprint technology and MWC trending this week


Here is a recap of the most popular biometrics industry news that appeared on BiometricUpdate.com this past week.

Online authentication

Morpho (Safran) announced that Samsung SDS is using Morpho’s facial recognition technology as part of its new multimodal, online authentication solution. The face recognition technology from Morpho includes embedded liveness detection to ensure the face submitted is captured from a live user and not a stored photo or video ensuring reliable and strong online authentication methods to avoid fraud.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) new standards effort in online authentication will be based upon FIDO 2.0 Web APIs from the FIDO Alliance, offering a more secure and flexible alternative to password-based log-ins online. W3C has formed a new Web Authentication Working Group that will focus on authentication work and the working group’s first meeting will take place in March in San Francisco.


Visa will be demonstrating some innovative new payment technology this week at Mobile World Congress including payment authentication prototypes using biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprint capabilities on mobile devices. Visa will also demo a biometric contactless payment solution using MorphoWave technology. The payments company will also be holding tutorials at their booth and hosting two half-day invitation-only client and partner events.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has introduced an iris-based biometric payment system allowing Syrian refugees in Jordan to redeem their monthly food assistance from local shops using just a scan of their eye instead of a prepaid electronic card at checkout. The technology works in tandem with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees biometric registration data of refugees and a WFP’s partners in Jordan, including IrisGuard.

A new report by Juniper Research entitled “Top 10 disruptive technologies in fintech: 2016” discusses technologies that will do the most to transform e-commerce this year and topping the list are biometrics, federated identity and tokenisation. Juniper says the use of biometric authentication in Apple Pay and Samsung Pay and the proliferation of fingerprint readers in smartphones is making the biggest difference to ‘payment completion’ today.

The FIDO Alliance recently submitted comments to the European Banking Authority (EBA) on their “Discussion Paper on future Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on Strong Customer Authentication and Secure Communication” under the revised Payment Services Directive. The EBA is currently developing a regulatory technical standard for strong consumer authentication for payment service providers across Europe.

Fingerprint technology

Vkansee has shipped pre-production, proof-of-concept samples of its latest, patented ultra-thin optical fingerprint sensor. The VK0208 sensor, designed for integration with leading PC and smartphone manufacturers, can capture fingerprint images at a high resolution of 2,000 pixel-per-inch, has a 6.0 x 3.5 mm active area, is only 1.5 mm thin and operates under 0.4 ~ 0.8 mm cover glass. The new smaller sensor will be on display at Vkansee’s booth at Mobile World Congress this week.

SecuGen introduced its latest compact fingerprint reader this week. The Hamster Pro is SecuGen’s lowest priced fingerprint reader to date. The UPx is the OEM version of the same product and is compact for easy integration and priced reasonably for large deployments. The Hamster Pro and UPx OEM sensor will both be released in March and are compatible with SecuGen’s SDKs for Windows, Linux, and Android. The Hamster Pro and UPx will be on display at the RSA Conference at the end of the month.

This week, Synaptics introduced an ultra-slim area-touch biometric fingerprint sensor designed to fit within small spaces, including the edge of smartphones or tablets. The technology company also announced the addition of advanced anti-spoofing using liveness detection to its SentryPoint security suite. Synaptics SentryPoint technology provides a suite of advanced security features that help assure that PC users’ personal and biometric information remains safe.

In a recent interview, Goodix CTO, Dr. Bo Pi, discusses Goodix’s strong commitment to research and development and how the firm’s R&D efforts focus on designing a range of fingerprint identification solutions and touch controllers to enrich the user experience on mobile devices. Goodix will release two new products at Mobile World Congress this week, including a fingerprint sensor that integrates liveness detection and a new optical sensor for an earpiece that measures a user’s pulse rate.

Fingerprint Cards (FPC), in collaboration with Taiwanese touch solution provider TPK, have successfully made cover glass prototypes integrating the FPC1268 touch fingerprint sensor. This partnership effectively allows FPC and TPK to deliver new innovative industrial design options for smartphones and other devices. FPC also introduced FPCLiveTouch, a security solution compatible with all touch fingerprint sensors in FPC’s product portfolio, that can identify and reject spoofing attempts without requiring additional hardware and without impacting verification time.


ConsenSys and BlockApps have partnered with Canonical to deliver Nimbus uPort biometric digital identity tools on Ubuntu mobile phones and tablets. The partnership marks the launch of the “Internet of People” campaign in which Ethereum’s self-sovereign biometric identity tools are used on Ubuntu phones and tablets. The Nimbus / uPort / Ubuntu proof-of-concept will be fully unveiled this week at Mobile World Congress.

According to Acuity Market Intelligence, biometric smartphones are officially mainstream and the research firm projects that 600 million biometric smartphones are currently in use representing 28% of the global installed base. In fact, more than 200 smartphones incorporating fingerprint, iris, and eye-vein biometrics have been introduced since Q1 2013 under 70 brand names including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, TCL, Oppo, Vivo, and ZTE.

Intercede launched RapID, a two-factor biometric authentication solution that delivers password and token free access to cloud services from mobile applications. The solution is based on Intercede’s MyID platform and integrates PKI based authentication and encryption to provide military grade security for business and consumer applications. It is available for iOS and Android based phones and tablets and can be scaled to accommodate millions of devices.

Border security

Starting this week, some foreign travellers leaving the United States via the Otay Mesa border crossing will have their facial photograph and iris image captured and compared with entry records. CBP officials said biometric exit testing at the border’s pedestrian crossing was an extension of the inbound phase of the project. The testing is set to run until May, and no biometric data will be requested from American citizens either on entry or exit.


Zwipe introduced Zwipe ID(c), a commercial credential offering full fingerprint identification in an ISO 7810 ID-1 and CR 80 compatible card body made for the global access control market. It includes an integrated fingerprint sensor and uses Zwipe’s biometric authentication technology to capture the users fingerprint and to securely maintain the cardholder’s data on the device.

Voice biometrics

BiometricUpdate.com had the opportunity recently to speak with Emilio Martinez, AGNITIO’s CEO, about the company’s sale of mobile assests to Cirrus Logic, partnership with Morpho (Safran) to provide voice biometric solutions for law enforcement agencies, and AGNITIO’s voice biometric solutions innovation and overall strategy for 2016.

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