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Idex Biometrics, Zwipe updates hint at digital currency focus, payment card launches

Idex Biometrics, Zwipe updates hint at digital currency focus, payment card launches

Idex Biometrics CEO Vince Graziani has recently published a blog post on the company’s website, discussing its efforts in the first half of 2021, and hinting at future plans.

The article opens by mentioning the company began trading on the Nasdaq in April, and a heavily oversubscribed Private Placement on the Oslo Børs, which raised gross proceeds of $27.5 million.

Idex has also recently hired Cat Eklof as chief commercial officer, to strengthen the company’s commercial side and Jamie Simms as a new chief financial officer. Moreover, the firm has expanded its Board with the addition of Express Bank A/S CEO Annika Olsson, and Synchrony CEO Thomas Quindlen as new members.

Moving forward, Graziani says the company will increasingly focus on biometric applications related to Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Idex is already collaborating with Goldpac, Chutian Dragon, and the Postal Bank of China on multiple CBDC initiatives in China.

According to Graziani, the Winter Olympics in February 2022 paired up with China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) deployment will constitute a ripe market for fingerprint sensors and biometric technologies in the country, and biometric payment cards in particular.

“We are also talking to multiple other Card Manufacturers and Card Issuers, as there are many other central banks around the world looking to launch their own CBDC,” the CEO wrote.

The first half of 2021 was eventful in this regard too for Idex, with the company’s TrustedBio sensor being selected by Idemia for their F.CODE Biometric Payment Card.

Idex has also closed similar partnerships with Softlock, DongWoon Anatech, Ubivelox, and Zwipe.

Graziani concludes his article in a somehow cryptic way.

“At this stage, I am unable to share with you our plans and news for the second half of 2021,” the post read, “but I can assure you that we have lots to be positive about. I very much look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.”

Zwipe prepares for mass volumes of biometric payment cards

The expansion of Zwipe’s global payment ecosystem of manufacturers, processors, banks and go-to-market partners for biometric payment cards lays the foundations for future commercial success, company CEO André Løvestam wrote in a mid-year update.

The review notes Zwipe’s gains on the Indian subcontinent and the APAC region, with a series of partners announced. Six new manufacturers agreeing to deals on biometric payment cards with Zwipe deliver a combined total of around 200 million payment cards annually, according to Løvestam. He also says the company accelerated its engagements in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Europe and the UK.

The company has now passed the most critical milestones and risk points in the development of its Zwipe Pay ONE, having demonstrated the biometric technology with test keys to emulate a live EMV transaction above the contactless payment cap. The only steps remaining before mass volume commercialization are piloting and certification. Zwipe Pay ONE demo cards will be distributed to issuers and partners within the coming weeks to prepare for commercial launches.

“Last, but not least, H1 2021 has seen further strengthening of our team across all functions – commercial, technical, operational and regional,” Løvestam wrote. “We have engaged every Zwiper in developing and honing our Winning Team Culture, with our Core Values driving us to be Innovative, Collaborative, Adaptable and Passionate. Each recruitment is intended not only to add capacity, but also to uplift our team. I am also pleased to see further strengthening of our board.”

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