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FIME’s testing and consultancy service expands with Cetecom U.S. payment business purchase

FIME’s testing and consultancy service expands with Cetecom U.S. payment business purchase

FIME has expanded its payments testing and consultancy offering by purchasing the payment activities of Cetecom in the U.S., adding payment industry experts and advanced testing equipment to its San Jose offering.

According to the company announcement, the combined teams will push digital payment technology adoption across the country including biometric and EMV 3DS authentication, card, mobile, and softPOS contactless payments.

“Digital and contactless payments were already gathering momentum in North America and the current crisis has seen projects step up,” said Lionel Grosclaude, FIME CEO, in a prepared statement. “I am really excited about this acquisition to accelerate innovation by providing our clients end-to-end services. FIME is now in position to offer a unique range of testing and consulting services.”

“While we are strategically focusing on providing fast and secure market access for devices with radio technologies, it was important to us that our U.S. payment customers continue to receive the same level of quality of services,” said Wilfried Klassmann, Cetecom CEO, in a prepared statement.

Demand for testing of new payment authentication methods, particularly biometric payment cards, is expected to increase significantly in the near-term, as contactless payments grow.

Smart payment card shipments saw 5 percent increase in 2019

Due to global demands, smart payment cards have maintained top global position when it comes to secure payment methods, registering a shipment increase by 5 percent to 2.75 billion in 2019, the Smart Payment Association (SPA) says based on figures from SPA Members and Market Monitoring Advisory Council Members.

Out of all smart payment cards shipped in 2019, 59 percent were contactless cards, 89 percent run on open operating systems such as Java OS, and 83 percent use Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA) technology to prevent fraud and boost security. Juniper Research predicts the installed base of contactless-enabled PoS devices will surpass 161 million by 2024.

ABI Research forecast recently that biometric payment cards will play a major part in the issuance of 110 million more units this year than last.

In terms of regions, the highest demand was noted in the U.S., while Latin America saw double digit growth and EMV Dual Interface migration generated a more than 20 percent shipment growth in North Asia-Pacific. Africa, the Balkans and the Middle-East registered stable growth of nearly 10 percent, while the overall EU market saw single-digit growth. India’s migration to EMV cards led to a lower shipment volume.

“The significant growth in shipments in 2019 illustrates the continued commitment of the financial community to providing customers with the most secure and convenient ways to pay,” said Alain Martin, Smart Payment Association President, in a prepared statement.

“Indeed, as financial systems and technologies evolve, we see the new generation of Fintech companies, and even Tech Giants, providing physical payment cards – a reflection that, despite the hype on digital currencies and other non-cash mechanisms, the smart payment card is a powerful tool for customer retention and remains the pre-eminent option for payment worldwide.”

“We see the trend for contactless payment cards being confirmed in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, as paying contactless, beyond its convenience, is in line with safety measures enforced by governments across the world,” he added.

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