Biometric payment cards’ market-readiness explored in Fingerprint Cards white paper

Idex Biometrics signs secure element collaboration with Fudan Microelectronics
Biometric payment cards’ market-readiness explored in Fingerprint Cards white paper

Fingerprint Cards has published a white paper on the superior security biometrics provide fingerprint-enabled payment cards, compared to legacy user authentication with a PIN code, and what makes the technology so much stronger from a security perspective.

The 13-page ‘Bringing security to contactless biometric payment cards’ white paper lays out the security landscape of the market biometric technology is entering, and protections against common attack types.

The key is to make sure that “attacks are either too expensive or too complex to be feasible at scale,” FPC Director of Product Management Henrik Nilsson writes in a post announcing the white paper.

Contactless cards are already familiar to consumers, but so is there security weakness, which has led to about 3 people in 10 not using a contactless payment card they posses. By replacing the knowledge factor with fingerprint biometrics, the strong customer authentication (SCA) requirement of the EU’s d Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) can be not only met but strengthened, with a superior user experience, according to the white paper.

Fingerprint Cards explains how the technology is integrated with the familiar payment card technology, and summarizes the biometric authentication process.

Sections on threats and their mitigation introduce some core concepts of biometric accuracy and security, including how injection and replay attacks can be protected against. FPC also discusses how manipulation of biometric processing and template storage is prevented, and the importance of having both effective sensor hardware and matching software.

Finally, the requirements of the form factor and the approach Fingerprint Cards has taken to meeting them are reviewed, including encryption and authentication in MAC or EtM Security modes.

The next step is deployment, which is fast-approaching as the remaining manufacturing and cost questions are answered.

Idex partners with Fudan Microelectronics on biometric card integration

Idex Biometrics has reached a collaborative agreement with Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Group to integrate the former’s biometric solution with Fudan’s latest-generation secure element to target multiple market segments.

Fudan Microelectronics develops secure elements and solutions for payments, medical insurance, transportation and emerging digital currency standards, according to the company announcement, and has already shipped more than 10 billion ASICS.

“A key part of IDEX’s strategy is to partner with secure element industry leaders such as Fudan Microelectronics for providing solutions to all global card manufacturers,” states Vince Graziani, CEO of IDEX Biometrics. “When coupled to previously announced secure element engagements with HED, Infineon, TMC, Idemia/Zwipe and others to follow, IDEX has the largest portfolio of SE partnerships enabling smart card manufacturers to use their existing secure element technology investments such as card operating systems. Broad secure element support is critical to enable the expected rapid acceleration of biometric card deployments.”

The company also recently announced a pair of volume orders for fingerprint technology for biometric payment cards.

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