Idex Biometrics expands partnership to develop digital currency card

biometric fingerprint data

Idex Biometrics has announced the expansion of its partnership with Chutian Dragon to build infrastructure for the development of a digital currency and electronic payment card-based solution with embedded fingerprint recognition in support of the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Renminbi initiative.

According to an announcement from Idex, its TrustedBio fingerprint authentication technologies will be added to the card-based biometric digital wallet, for which multi-city trials have taken place across six of the country’s biggest banks since December 2020.

Idex and Chutian Dragon entered into their initial license and commercialization agreement for biometric cards back in 2019, and Chutian’s experience as one of Asia’s biggest smart card manufacturers positions it to be a leader in the application space as the infrastructure deployment for the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is accelerated.

By being able to build a solution for mass digital payments, online or offline, China will be providing a solution for the millions of unbanked and underbanked people in China, the announcement mentions. The biometric card-based digital wallet initiative is also intended to be especially beneficial to the nearly 45 percent of the Chinese population who do not have access to a smartphone, and in that way helping to narrow the digital divide in the financial services sector, it adds.

“We are pleased to be working with Idex Biometrics on our latest Digital Currency/Electronic Payment card products. Idex’s advanced fingerprint sensors and biometric technologies are already qualified for the card environment and are well suited for payment card based contactless transactions,” stated Susan Su, CEO of Chutian Dragon.

Vince Graziani, Chief Executive Officer of Idex Biometrics, said, “The planned rapid deployment of Central Bank Digital Currency in China presents an ideal application for our secure fingerprint sensors and biometric technologies in protecting stored value within a hard wallet. Protecting stored value of digital currency for individuals is recognized as an important use-case in the deployment of Digital Currency/Electronic Payment. Chutian Dragon established position in the Chinese market and its early leadership in Digital Currency/Electronic Payment makes the company an ideal partner for us.”

The digital currency/electronic payment system is based on blockchain technology and plans for its use during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 are expected to fast-track the development, the Idex announcement notes.

Idex’ fingerprint biometrics are featured in a Digital Renminbi card which the Postal Savings Bank of China launched a trial of earlier this year.

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