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BNP Paribas to begin issuing biometric payment cards to all customers within 6 months

Idex Biometrics card tech certified, Fingerprint Cards receives additional volume order
BNP Paribas to begin issuing biometric payment cards to all customers within 6 months

Biometric payment cards companies are starting out 2021 with a bang, as the first general roll-out of cards with integrated fingerprint sensors by a big bank has been announced, a major payment network certification has been announced, and a volume order placed. Thales, Idex Biometrics and Fingerprint Cards are involved directly in the announcements, but the long-awaited commercialization of the consumer biometric device could lift many players.

First biometric bank card general roll-out planned

The first major bank to announce intentions to distribute biometric bank cards to all its customers is BNP Paribas, with the French issuer declaring its plan to begin a general roll-out in the first half of 2021, MoneyVox reports.

BNP Paribas launched a commercial trial of 15,000 payment cards with fingerprint biometric authentication based on Thales and Fingerprint Cards technology instead of PIN entry for purchase authorization in the fall of 2020.

The bank’s transformation, marketing and digital director Céline Ansquer said its carriers are in favor of the move. Its customers will receive a metal case for fingerprint biometric enrollment from home with the new cards, though their price is yet to be announced.

MoneyVox notes that other banks could quickly follow BNP Paribas lead into generalized commercial biometric payment card issuance.

BNP Paribas is the eighth-largest bank in the world by total assets, and counts more than 30 million customers in its three domestic markets.

Second Idex biometric card certified for China UnionPay

Idex Biometrics and its partner GoldPac have been certified for China UnionPay’s dual interface biometric payment card standard, according to a company announcement.

The testing was carried out by the Bank Card Testing Center (BCTC), and is required to obtain a Letter of Approval (LOA) from China UnionPay.

Goldpac already has certifications for China UnionPay. Visa, Mastercard, American Express JCB and Diners, and the new certification is the second for a biometric payment card with Idex’ fingerprint sensors and biometric solutions, according to the announcement. A card made by Feitian with Idex biometrics technology was granted an LOA from China UnionPay in May.

“This certification is another significant milestone for IDEX as our sensor, algorithm and software are now certified for biometric payment cards by an additional Tier One fintech products and services provider and is now available on multiple global payment schemes,” states Vince Graziani, CEO at IDEX. “IDEX is the only fingerprint company to have achieved this honor. The certifications continue the transition from the pilot phase, to commercialization and broad market adoption of biometric payment cards.”

“We are pleased that we have been able to complete certification with our partner IDEX, so that immediate mass deployment and customer engagement are ready to carry forward,” says Goldpac CEO Hou Ping.

Contactless payments have gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, most notably in America, as Graziani told Biometric Update in a November interview.

Major payment cards manufacturer orders 100K units from Fingerprint Cards

Fingerprint Cards has received a volume order of 100,000 units of its T-Shape biometric sensor modules from what it describes as a global top three card manufacturer.

FPC says all commercial launches of biometric payment cards so far include its fingerprint recognition technology, and the latest order indicates the acceleration of their roll-out.

“Fingerprint sensors for biometric payment cards represent a very large potential market for biometrics, and this order demonstrates the strength of Fingerprints’ solution and our leading position within this growing market. Together with our partners, we are enabling banks to remove the payment cap and bring consumers the trust and experience needed for contactless payments”, says Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments & Access at Fingerprint Cards.

The company received an order for 100,000 T-Shape modules in 2019 for logical access control, and the T-Shape module passed BCTC testing for biometric payment cards in November.

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