Fingerprint biometrics companies look to cashless shift for boost

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Fingerprint Cards expects commercial use of payment cards with fingerprint biometrics to begin next year with society moving away from cash, boosting the company’s results as the application takes over for mobile phone deployments as the FPC’s main source of revenue, Bloomberg reports.

The commercialization seems to close with successful trials by 20 banks, and a certificate awarded to related biometric technology by Mastercard in July. CEO Christian Fredrikson hopes it will halt a three-year decline in revenue, and a 90 percent drop in share price since late 2015, according to Bloomberg. Mobile phones have previously accounted for roughly 90 percent of the company’s revenue.

“What’s good now is that the whole chain is working with this, not just us,” Fredrikson told Bloomberg. “The whole ecosystem is currently building production capacity and testing the systems.”

Fingerprint Cards sees annual smart card production rising from 3.5 or 4 billion a year currently to between 6 and 8 billion over the next few years.

Alfred Berg Head of Asset Allocation Jonas Olavi suggests the shift to biometric payment cards may not be as big as anticipated.

“Even if smartcards can become a reality, practically everyone already has a smartphone, so the revolution may not be as big as initially depicted,” he cautions.

Fredrikson counters that the share of payments made with cash will be the only form of payment that decreases, but he also acknowledges that competition will be fierce.

Idex Biometrics is also exploring the shift towards a cashless society with a four-part blog series. The first post, from SVP of Sales and Marketing David Orme, discusses the role of biometric payment cards in facilitating the change.

Orme argues that biometrics are the identifiers of the future, and notes that card use in increasing as cash usage continues to decline. He also suggests that digital technology and biometrics may be able to extend financial services to those excluded in legacy systems based on cash and traditional banks.

Goode Intelligence has forecast that 579 million biometric payment cards will be used globally by 2023.

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