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Demand for biometric payments, secure digital ID grows but consumers, governments need education


BNP Paribas biometric payment cards

The market’s readiness for biometric payment cards, the contrasting degrees of success between public and private sector digital ID efforts, and of course digital health passes made up the most widely-read stories on Biometric Update over the past week.

Mastercard research accords with Thales and Fingerprint Cards’ expectations as consumers become interested in biometrics-enabled payments, while TietoEVRY notes biometric cards will go mainstream before digital wallets. Persona’s big funding round caps a week in which companies including Veridas, Nok Nok Labs, SmartSearch and ForgeRock identify ways to cut fraud plaguing government relief payments.

Top biometrics news of the week

Mastercard’s latest research shows consumer interest in adopting technologies like biometrics for payments at an all-time high, with a significant pandemic affect noted, and modest majorities expressing confidence in their security. TietoEVRY is urging banks not to skip biometric payment cards in their rush to implement digital wallets, meanwhile.

In a Thales webinar featuring Fingerprint Cards, similar observations about the market’s readiness for biometric payment cards were shared. FPC’s Michel Roig points out some consumer education work remaining to be done, while Thales’ Frederic Martinez discussed possibilities for issuers to customize the cards, and to cut fraud losses by issuing them.

The failures of the U.S. Government’s pandemic relief payment system are considered in a couple of recent editorials and the government urged to consider mature identity ecosystems involving private sector actors like banks, just as Pakistan begins policy work on digital ID. Veridas and Infosys see opportunity for governments to help the private sector help them, Nok Rig Labs and ForgeRock see power in currently available tools, and SmartSearch has launched a biometric AML solution for U.S. customers.

A guest post from Thales VP of Identity and Verification Steve Purdy explores the advantages to each stakeholder group of mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs), from increased privacy to more consistent data across government agencies and better fraud protection. He touches on the insights gained from a pilot the company ran in Colorado, and how biometrics can enhance some of those advantages.

Persona is the latest digital ID company to announce a major founding round, with a $50 million Series B to scale its end-to-end adaptable online identity verification business. The company says its head count is growing fast, its customer base faster, and its revenue fastest.

Three quarters of people around the world believe health passes should be mandatory for international travel, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the World Economic Forum, with lesser support for other use cases. ID2020’s Dakota Gruener and others continue to try to address misconceptions while wading through a political minefield, but the government of Canada and Malaysia Airlines are among the latest to reveal digital health pass plans.

BBC Click’s examination of digital health passes checks in with iProov and FinGo, while an Entrust blog post urges caution on the part of governments, and the use of technologies like biometrics and QR codes to help deal with privacy concerns. Clear continues to add event venues to its client list, meanwhile.

Simprints will provide its biometric solution for vaccine management to the Ghana Health Service, it is expected, once a deal and pilot are concluded. The government is anxious to avoid wasting precious COVID-19 vaccines, and the provision of digital ID backed by fingerprint or face biometrics could also help the country’s healthcare system’s longer-term digitization plans.

Advances in AI and machine learning are going to drive convergence in the access control, workforce management and security sectors through biometrics, Suprema’s Kim Hanchul, who was just promoted to the co-CEO position, tells MENAFN in an interview. He notes that biometrics make up about 15 percent of its business, with facial recognition one-fifth of that.

The U.S. Army is working on using health biometrics like heart rate to deliver situational awareness to automated systems, like drones, so they can better support soldiers. Research in this direction is being carried out with the Army’s virtual reality headsets running field scenarios, and soldiers’ biometrics gathered in various situations with a new software suite.

Police are forced by practical necessity to use the tools available to them, including facial recognition, UK’s new Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner Fraser Sampson argues in an recent interview. He has also published an update on the emergency biometrics retention rules for police established during the pandemic, accounting for all National Security Determinations and finding their use proportionate.

The benefits of computer vision for industrial applications, from resource extraction to manufacturing, are impressive and yet-untapped, Cognite President Dr. Francois Laborie writes in a Forbes Technology Council post. Achieving the industry 4.0 vision will involve robotic mobility, asset monitoring and cross-referencing images with other data sources, he argues.

A campaign contribution by Fingo parent Sthaler to Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has caught the critical attention of his political opponents, The Telegraph writes. Burnham launched a working group to consider how the company’s vein biometrics could be used with public services late last year, making the donation inappropriate, according to his rivals, though the incumbent claims it was above-board and properly declared.

Corsight VP of Growth and Innovation Maya Dillon tells Silicon Republic about how the tech gender gap can be addressed, career turbulence during the 2008 recession, and the value of life coaching. Dillon advises women forging careers in tech to empower themselves with greater self-confidence and never stop asking questions.

Paravision CPO Joey Pritikin puts the company’s facial recognition to the valuable task of matching Luke Skywalkers for May the Fourth, showing his work in a LinkedIn post. The company’s biometrics hold up on a 40-year time difference, less so for spectral manifestations, and the post even includes a practical lesson about liveness detection.

Please let us know if you see an article, podcast or other content we should share with the biometrics community and people in digital identity, by leaving a comment below or through social media.

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