Biometrics stocks update: payment cards market analysis, customer wins and appointments

Biometrics stocks update: payment cards market analysis, customer wins and appointments

Biometric payment cards are a major growth opportunity for Fingerprint Cards, according to a new market analysis, while Ipsidy and ImageWare have announced appointments, and Knightscope is open to investments from Canada. Okta, Nice, De La Rue and Supercom have all announced new contract wins for biometrics and identity services.

The next billion biometric sensors shipped by Fingerprint Cards will include a broader mix of use cases in different industries and form factors, with payment cards a likely growth driver, according to an analysis article by Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

FPC’s position in the smart cards market is established through partnerships like the one which saw the company’s sensor module and software payments platform integrated with Cornèrcard’s commercial biometric payment card launch in Switzerland, the analysis says. Developments with partners Thales, such as payment network certification and a UK market trial with NatWest, are also highlighted, and Counterpoint notes that the consumer appetite for the cards observed in a survey Fingerprint Cards conducted in China, France, and the UK will likely increase due to the pandemic.

The article also notes the importance of collaboration in the field, which FPC has also been working on.

All 21 announced trials of dual-interface biometric payment cards use technology from the company, according to Counterpoint. With more than 20 billion cards in circulation worldwide, even a single-digit adoption of biometric cards over the next five years would present a tremendous market opportunity for Fingerprint Cards.

The market for payment cards could be affected, however, by adoption of mobile wallets for smartphone-based payments.

For mobile phones, Counterpoint suggests capacitive sensors will remain the most common type in the low-to-mid price segment because of their low cost and technological maturity. The analysis sets out the market landscape, noting that FPC also produces optical sensors for under-display smartphone fingerprint scanning. Under-display sensors are expected to grow in market share from 14 percent in 2019, and Counterpoint sees optical sensors exceeding ultrasonic ones in smartphone market share.

The Touchless 2.0 platform released by Fingerprint Cards late last year could also help the company reach an emerging market for high-security biometrics on computing devices, the analysis says.

Ipsidy executive reorganization continues

Ipsidy has a new CEO, COO and President, with Phillip Kumnick appointed to the former position Philip Broenniman taking the latter two, while former CEO Philip Beck will continue as chairman of the board.

Tom Szoke has also been added to the company as Chief Solutions Architect, following changes earlier this year to Ipsidy’s board and other senior positions. These included the appointment of Kumnick as deputy chair, and Szoke as COO in January.

Kumnick expressed excitement for the company’s future, saying, “Our IDaaS platform offers tremendous potential for delivering innovative identity solutions. Supporting a range of market segments across both developed and developing markets and from face to face interactions to virtual transactions, our solutions deliver the greater identity certainty that today’s digital world demands.  I very much look forward to leading the Ipsidy team on execution of our plan.”

ImageWare CEO joins board

ImageWare Systems has announced that new CEO Kristin A. Taylor, who took on that role on March 2, has been elected to its board of directors. The company says in the announcement that its ongoing strategic restructuring will drive results and open up new opportunities.

Alfa-Bank to integrate Nice voice biometrics

Russia’s Alfa-Bank has adopted AI-powered analytics solutions from Nice to improve its customer experiences in the voice channel, and plans to implement its voice biometrics technology to boost security and enable new remote services.

Nice Nexidia Analytics and Nice Quality Control will be implemented by the large private commercial bank to automatically analyze interactions and identify call topics that are dealt with effectively or need improvement. The announcement credits the insights generated with the voice technologies with increasing sales to retail customers in the small and medium-sized business segment by between 9.3 and 12.4 percent.

Knightscope open to Canadian investors

Security robots-maker Knightscope is now accepting investments in its Regulation A+ offering from Canadian investors through investment platform FrontFundr.

Accredited and unaccredited investors can now purchase shares in Knightscope for anywhere from $1,000 to $10 million. Investments from the U.S. and other markets are available through StartEngine.

Okta posts results and sees improved operating profit outlook

Okta has reported a 46 percent year-over-year increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2021 to $182.9 million, with subscription revenue up by 48 percent from the same period a year ago.

The company booked a net loss under GAAP of $57.7 million, but it has record operating and free cash flows, reaffirmed its revenue outlook and improved its operating profit outlook for fiscal 2021. GAAP operating loss in Q1 was $52.2 million, though non-GAAP operating loss was only $12.3 million.

“Okta is at the forefront of helping organizations adapt to the current environment where secure remote access has become a top priority across industries,” said Todd McKinnon, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Okta. “Our strong first quarter performance reflects our market leadership and ability to effectively and quickly shift to a fully remote workforce. This shift is enabled through our core technology, which allows secure access to any technology from anywhere. When this crisis is over, we don’t expect organizations to revert to their prior ways of working. Our commitment to our customers and continued focus on operational agility will help us navigate this environment, lead the new way of work, and seize the opportunity to emerge in an even stronger position.”

The company has also launched a new native integration with Amazon Web Services Single Sign-on (AWS SSO) to improve user experiences and expand the automation capabilities of large and complex organizations.

The new capability is available through the Okta Integration Network, allowing Okta customers to provision identities with AWS SSO to perform authorization management, with user identities and groups automatically synchronized.

FedEx has successfully deployed the Okta Identity Cloud to provide secure remote access to critical applications for its global workforce, which is considered essential for delivering goods and services during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Okta has also announced expanded partnerships with the Australian Red Cross, Moody’s, Mouvement Edouard Leclerc, Parsons, Servus Credit Union, State of Illinois, T-Mobile, Workday, and Zoom.

De La Rue reports contract wins for authentication division

De La Rue has declared its start to the current fiscal year “strong” and left guidance unchanged, saying it has experienced limited impact from the pandemic, ShareCast reports.

Both the authentication and currency divisions of the company have won significant contracts, De La Rue says. The authentication business has reached a five-year deal to supply polycarbonate data pages for Australian passports, among contracts with a total lifetime value of more than £100 million (US$124.6 million), which is also the amount De La Rue expects the division to make in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

SuperCom announces two new pilots

SuperCom has shipped hardware for a pair of new pilots for COVID-19 quarantine and containment tracking technology in the Middle East.

The announcement follows a pair of similar pilots recently made public by the company. The solution includes a proprietary secure PureCare smartphone and an optional lightweight and water-proof ankle bracelet.

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