Biometrics providers target more verticals and expanding markets
Cross-border digital identity services from Mastercard could be live as soon as next year, and the company has brought North Macedonia’s digital ID to production, as explained in two of the most-read stories on Biometric Update this week. Meanwhile, biometrics providers are finding ready markets from online identity verification, as Socure’s CEO explains, to airports, to biometric smart cards. Infineon has added FIDO authentication and biometric wearable solutions to its portfolio, and Simprints has unveiled three biometrics projects supporting healthcare.
Top biometrics news of the week
Mastercard’s ambitions for providing cross-border digital identity infrastructure, with services launched as soon as 2022, were set out during the Singapore Fintech Festival 2021, and further spelled out in an email to Biometric Update describing the four pillars of digital infrastructure the world needs. Along the same lines, Australia and Singapore are working towards practical interoperability of verifiable credentials, and Singapore has signed a cooperative agreement with the UK.
North Macedonia’s Mastercard-powered digital ID has reached its launch, enabling citizens to use their smartphones for banking services, with more to follow. Government digital identity wallets and apps are also being developed in Istanbul and refreshed in Denmark.
What would you do with $450 million? If you were Socure, you would more than double your workforce to continue a push towards a 100 percent identity verification rate, and expand into verticals beyond financial services, CEO Johnny Ayers tells Biometric Update in an interview. Ayers explains the company’s approach of developing capability modules in-house, from selfie biometrics to collecting thousands of other identity features.
A group of Canadian companies including one37, Oaro and Telus have partnered to launch trial of touchless biometric boarding at Calgary International Airport, with plans for a rollout across the country following regulatory approval. Amadeus and ACI handed out their airport awards as well, recognizing SITA and Frankfurt and Seattle-Tacoma airports for their innovations.
Biometric ID cards of various types are being produced by governments around the world, with Cetis supplying Slovenian foreign residents’ permits, South African banks providing biometrics enrollment for government ID cards and passports, and the Philippines reminding public and private entities alike that they face fines if they do not honor PhilID cards.
The UIDAI has lowered authentication fees and is considering updating Aadhaar to include smartphones as a universal authenticator for remote identity verification processes. Anil Jain suggested the digital ID program’s biometric component could be extended to children from three years of age instead of five to address the high number of child abductions.
Trustech 2021 was held this week in France, where Infineon presented the latest additions to its SECORA ID portfolio of online digital identity tools, including a FIDO multi-factor authentication solution and software for securing payment from wearables or IoT devices with biometrics.
Germany’s new government wants Europe’s planned AI Act to include a ban on remote biometric surveillance in public spaces, among other privacy protections. Reports suggest the new coalition government joins Belgium and Slovakia in backing some of the tighter restrictions proposed.
The direction of the Federal Trade Commission on matters related to biometrics and privacy has come into doubt, as the U.S. Commerce Committee did not approve the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya prior to Senate confirmation, necessitating a full Senate vote. Uncertainty reigns in the American regulatory landscape, to the surprise of no observers.
BIPA Section 15(c), which restricts selling or profiting from biometric data collected from Illinois residents, is one of the more important fronts to open in the biometric data privacy litigation battle, and Blank Rome Attorney David J. Oberly explains the implications in a Biometric Update guest post.
Research from Fourthline indicates that financials are too often putting KYC technologies in place, spending an average of three percent or slightly higher on identity verification, only to find their manual workload increased. The company also outlines the complex French AML and regulatory landscape.
Simprints’ biometric technology is being used for several healthcare initiatives across Africa, including a pilot immunization management program in 10 health facilities across two districts in Ghana. The company is also supporting trachoma surgeries in Ethiopia and an Afya-Tek project in Tanzania.
The evolution of iris biometrics has led to its practical, everyday use for critical applications in challenging situations, as IrisGuard Deputy Director Simon Reed tells Biometric Update for a paid post. The company sees a place for its technology in a broad range of financial services ecosystems.
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