Zwipe receives EUR 2.3M grant to scale and commercialize biometric payment technology
The European Commission has awarded Zwipe a €2.3 million (US$2.6 million) grant under the Horizon 2020 program to fund its “Generation NxT” scale-up initiative and bring its biometric technology to market.
The funds will be paid out from Horizon 2020, the largest European Union (EU) Research and Innovation program, in tranches over the next 24 months. More than 1850 companies from around the European Economic Area applied for grants in the latest round, but only 3 percent have been awarded funding.
The EU has acknowledged the scale of the challenge of enabling contactless transactions without requiring changes to existing payments structure, as well as the merit of Zwipe’s proprietary biometric and power harvesting technology platform, according to the announcement. The company will use the grant to support its Generation NxT initiatives, including technological development, certification, and commercialization of a proprietary application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) built for energy harvesting and management, in addition to cost-reduction and supply chain preparation.
“We are humble and grateful for this stamp of approval from the European Commission in recognition of the value our technology offers to our customers and stakeholders on a global level,” comment Zwipe CEO André Løvestam. “We take this recognition as a confirmation that our technology can play a dynamic role supporting the goals of recent European directives, such as PSD2 and GDPR, in addressing the need for strong customer authentication, data protection and consumers’ right to privacy as biometrics becomes an integral part of everyday life.”
Zwipe’s biometric technology is currently being used in pilots by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo in Italy, the Bank of Cyprus, and by 10 leading banks in five Middle East countries. The company also expects several more banks to begin pilots in the coming weeks in collaboration with major payment providers.