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Zwipe earnings climb as biometric payment cards progress, Mitek supplies HSBC with facial recognition

Synaptics, Idex Biometrics, BIO-key and SAFR in biometrics stocks news
Zwipe earnings climb as biometric payment cards progress, Mitek supplies HSBC with facial recognition

Zwipe has announced its first half financial results, the details of a new Mitek customer’s biometrics deployment have been revealed, and Synaptics is reportedly on track for better results, among news involving publicly traded biometrics providers. Idex Biometrics and BIO-key will present at investor events, meanwhile, and RealNetworks has sold Napster to concentrate on its SAFR facial recognition business.

Zwipe earned revenues of NOK 486,000 (roughly US$72,000) in second quarter and NOK 880,000 ($130,000) in the first half of 2020. The modest earnings represent a 101 percent increase over the same quarter, and 153 percent increase in the half, compared to a year earlier, however.

Results after tax totalled a loss of NOK 15,842 ($2,300), or NOK 0.62 per share, compared to losses of NOK 20,989 or NOK 1.32 per share in the same quarter a year earlier. After tax results and results per share for the half were similar improved.

CEO André Løvestam expressed satisfaction in the company’s progress towards realizing revenues from biometric payments, reviewing a number of highlights related to the effort.

Zwipe has signed up five of the top 50 card manufacturers in the world for its Zwipe Pay ONE biometric payments platform, among engagements with 40 of the top 50, Løvestam says in the latest edition of the company’s Zwipe Talk web series.

One of those manufacturers is Hong Kong’s Toppan, which the company partnered with in June. Zwipe also has an interview with Toppan about the biometric payment card market and why it selected Zwipe’s technology in a Medium post.

EVP of Strategy and Channels Bishwajit Choudhary says Zwipe has engaged with nearly 200 players in the market, including 180 banks and five major retailers that issue their own cards. The issuers see a value proposition in creating customer loyalty and the efficiency of reusing all their existing infrastructure.

CTO Dr. Robert Mueller says “we are practically the go-to company for smart card manufacturers if you want to get engaged with biometric cards.”

Active in-lays are part of all the pilots in the space so far, including those with Zwipe’s participation, Mueller explains. This is fine for pilots, but will not scale to mass adoption. A higher level of integration is necessary, and Mueller holds up Zwipe’s biometric-system-on-chip as the highest level on the market.

Mitek provides selfie biometrics and document verification for HSBC U.S.

Biometric identity verification and mobile document capturing from Mitek has been selected by HSBC for its U.S. Premier checking account customers through the latest version of its International Client Onboarding app.

Mitek Mobile Verify will streamline and automate HSBC’s new account onboarding process, which previously required a video chat with an HSBC representative, as well as an electronic signature. Now, foreign nationals working for HSBC’s corporate partners in the U.S. can capture their identity documents at the time of the digital signing, and provide a biometric selfie for comparison to the document.

Mitek notes a deal with HSBC in its Q1 2020 earnings call, and the details were recently revealed by HSBC.

The fully-digital and remote process reduces application turnaround time from two weeks to a few days, according to the HSBC announcement.

The company reported its best-ever revenues in its Q3 2020 earnings report last month.

Synaptics comeback journey examined

Synaptics is writing its own comeback story with a one-year turnaround based on a new direction and strategy to maximize its technology portfolio, according to a Forbes article.

CEO Michael Hurlston took over the company in August 2019, and observed Synaptics struggles to raise its gross margin above the 35 to 39 percent range. He also saw the company trading below its revenue as an opportunity, Forbes’ Patrick Moorhead writes. Hurlston found the company’s technology was not matched by its roadmap or long-term vision, and its engineering talent was underutilized. The company was also not guiding its customers enough.

The long-term vision includes new focus in the automotive and consumer IoT markets. Biometric Update spoke with Synaptics Director of Concept Prototyping Dr. Andrew Hsu about biometrics in automobiles shortly after Hurlston took the CEO role.

His strategy involved remaking the management team to change company culture, and fully leveraging a portfolio of more than 1,800 patents. Finally, operational focus has been refined, and areas like testing sites and sales teams streamlined.

The company believes its total addressable market is more than twice the size of its current serviceable market, and that the latter will grow at a 7 percent CAGR through 2023.

Idex Biometrics and BIO-key to present at virtual events

Idex Biometrics executives will make presentations related to biometrics and authentication at a pair of upcoming virtual conferences, the company has announced.

CEO Vice Graziani and CFO Derek D’Antilio with present at the DNB Nordic TMT & Consumer Virtual Conference 2020 on September 2, and at the H.C. Wainwright 22nd Annual Global Investment Conference (Virtual) on September 15.

BIO-key Chairman and CEO Mike DePasquale will present the company’s multi-factor ID and biometric access management business at the 3rd annual LD Micro 500 Virtual Investors Conference on September 1.

The LD 500 will be held September 1 to 4, and feature hundreds of companies in the small and micro cap space.

RealNetworks sells Napster

RealNetworks has sold Napster for $70 million to startup MelodyVR in a reverse takeover, freeing RealNetworks to focus on its SAFR biometric facial recognition business in a significantly more favorable financial position.

“Going forward, Real will continue to focus the operations of Real on our primary growth initiatives, such as our SAFR computer vision platform and our GameHouse free-to-play casual games business,” RealNetworks Chairman and CEO Rob Glaser says in a company announcement. “We will also continue to nurture innovation, for example our Scener watch party service and platform.”

The main line item in the deal for RealNetworks 84 percent stake in Napster is $44 million in payment obligations, mostly to the music industry, and RealNetworks also retains $11 million in MelodyVR stock.

Contract for SAFR facial recognition earned $972,000 in Q2, 2020, up slightly from the same period a year earlier, according to its latest earnings report. The company held $19.7 million in cash and equivalents at the time. In RealNetworks’ Q1 earnings report, it announced a plan to pivot its SAFR business towards public health and safety.

The company plans to outline its expected financial benefits from the transaction in its Q3 earnings call in November, or on closing if it occurs before then.

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