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Safran Identity & Security, IDEX to commercialize biometric smart cards


Safran Identity & Security and IDEX ASA announced they have made significant progress toward commercializing the world’s first ISO standard form factor smart cards with a touch fingerprint sensor.

The companies have recently completed a pilot card series phase for the joint solution, which supports the strategic biometric program of a major payment program.

According to the two companies, payment cards with a fingerprint sensor will bring convenience and security to the authentication process by enabling users to replace the entry of a PIN by simply placing a fingertip onto the card.

“This partnership combines our patented off-chip flexible polymer touch technology with Safran’s world-leading biometric capabilities and its card manufacturing expertise to make biometric cards a commercial reality,” said Dr. Hemant Mardia, CEO of IDEX.

“Our integrated solution has successfully passed comprehensive functional and reliability testing on a series of pilot production cards. We are now undergoing qualification of the solution under our strategic partnership in advance of expected trial programs. Subject to customer feedback and adoption, we anticipate the product will be ready for mass production in late 2016.”

Safran Identity & Security and IDEX have jointly designed a touch fingerprint sensor and developed a scalable process for integration and volume production of ISO ID-1 form factor cards.

Safran provides the biometric card software, security expertise and manufacturing capabilities, while IDEX supplies the customized fingerprint sensor.

Through the partnership, the companies have successfully developed a polymer touch sensor integrated into a standard thickness card that can be replicated efficiently in existing card production facilities.

The smart cards work with all existing standard POS (point of sales) terminals, eliminating the need of merchants to upgrade their systems.

“Our ambition is to simplify the everyday life of consumers,” said Philippe Bertiaux, vice president and general manager of Safran Identity & Security’s payment business unit. “By integrating fingerprint biometrics into a payment card together with IDEX, we are enabling a smooth and secure payment experience as well as ensuring seamless integration within existing POS terminals.”

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