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IDEX predicts huge second wave of biometric adoption in investor update


IDEX presented an investor update on Thursday, identifying a potential “second wave” of biometric adoption led by a smart card market which could reach 300 million units in 2020.

The wave of adoption is set up by what the company touts as “the off-chip sensing revolution,” with low-cost, flexible sensors delivering a high degree of digital intelligence.

Following the first wave of biometric adoption, which IDEX says was catalyzed by Apple, Mastercard is driving the second wave, according to the presentation.

“Our mission at Mastercard is to make biometrics in payment safe, simple and secure, and to that end we are proud of our Biometric Card solution” Mastercard Executive VP of Identity Solutions Bob Reany commented. “We find that IDEX’s deep expertise in fingerprint, culture of innovation and commercial focus positions them as one of our most credible partners in this field.”

The second wave is characterized by larger fingerprint sensors, which are more flexible, not silicon-based and have digital intelligence integrated into the driver ASIC, according to IDEX.

In addition to several previously reported steps forward in the smartcard market during Q3, including receiving approval as an EMVCo vendor and reaching an innovation agreement with a major global payment partner, IDEX said that it also successfully completed a trial with UniCredit Bulbank in August.

The company expects the biometric smartcard market to reach 30 million payment cards and 20 million government cards in 2018, followed by 140 million and 50 million respectively in 2019, and 230 million and 90 million in 2020. Cards for access control could grow from 5 million in 2018 to 20 million in 2020, according to IDEX.

IDEX said in the presentation it is targeting a 30 percent share of a smartcard market that could range from 250 to 300 million units, with revenues of $750 million to $1.5 billion in 2020. The company also believes it can achieve a gross margin above 40 percent while serving that market, largely due to volume effect.

IDEX reported its Q3 financial results last week.

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