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Austriacard acquires Nitecrest, prepares to take biometric payment cards worldwide

Group partner Zwipe to pilot biometric card in Iraq
Austriacard acquires Nitecrest, prepares to take biometric payment cards worldwide

A newly-structured grouping of card manufacturers and personalizers intends to use its strong position in Europe and the UK to become a world leader in the rollout of the next generation of payment cards, including biometrics.

Austriacard and Nitecrest have completed a “merger/acquisition” process where Austriacard has acquired 100 percent of shares of Nitecrest, whose key shareholders and leadership team now hold equity positions and will retain their roles in the new structure. This follows Austriacard’s merger with TAG Systems.

The companies’ relations are already more complex than that as Nitecrest and TAG Systems have a joint venture TagNitecrest, established in 2016 to produce and personalize payment cards for UK financial institutions and from 2019 to manufacture biometric payment cards for the UK market.

There are further companies involved in the network as TAG Systems also has a partnership with Zwipe dating back to 2019 to develop biometric payment cards. This partnership took a further step forward in March 2021 when TAG Systems placed a small order for Zwipe Pay ONE as the partners decided to bring biometric payment cards to issuers in Europe and North America, built on Zwipe’s platform.

To summarize, Austriacard Holdings has three divisions of which one is Austriacard/TAG and specializes in digital security in payments and identity. Austriacard Holdings has seven production facilities and seven personalization centers in Europe, one in the U.S. and another in South America.

Nitecrest produces and personalizes gift, loyalty and telecom cards globally. TagNitecrest claims to have become the leader for producing cards for Europe’s challenger banks.

“We have always been super impressed by Nitecrest’s group rounded service offering,” comments Jon Neeraas, CEO of TAG Systems. “Collectively, we have continued to dominate the Fintech and Retail space and are very pleased to have reached a deal at group level of Austriacard Holdings with Nitecrest’s shareholders and management.”

Leeroy Pye, CEO of TagNitecrest sounds even more confident: “At group level we are about to change the game. Our Fintech and Challenger Bank customer adoption takes the entire group into a new era, as we shall be able for the first time to offer product-led core banking services. We are partnering with key companies around the globe, to flip card issuing on its head and take the helm to delivering the next generation of payment cards.”

Zwipe and INC partner to pilot contactless biometric payment cards in Iraq

Zwipe is partnering with International Network for Cards and Digital Payment Services (INC) to pilot biometric payment cards in Iraq. INC will offer the issuance of white label biometrics cards for banks and payment companies. The first client is INC’s own NEO Visa cards which will be Iraq’s first biometric payment cards, according to the announcement.

The partnership was made possible via INC partnering with NymCard which had recently partnered with Zwipe to bring Zwipe Pay ONE biometric payment cards to Africa and Middle East.

General Manager for MENA region at Zwipe, Ramzi Saboury comments, “Our partnership with NymCard and its subsidiaries in the region such as INC will greatly accelerate the deployment of next generation contactless cards. I am happy to launch this pilot project with INC in Iraq – a large market with huge growth potential.

“It is worth mentioning that the Central Bank of Iraq has already endorsed our initiative to bring biometric payment cards to Iraq and is encouraging all Iraqi banks to be part of this exciting innovation.”

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