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Biometric payment card makers form partnerships to expand global reach

Biometric payment card makers form partnerships to expand global reach

Idex Biometrics is pairing up with MK Smart to extend its line of biometric smart cards across Southeast Asia, while Zwipe and K2 have announced a partnership to bring biometric payment cards across France, as well as the Middle East and North Africa region.

Idex pairs with MK Smart on Southeast Asia

Idex announced it entered a development agreement with MK Smart, a Vietnamese card manufacturer and subsidiary of MK Group, to expand the availability of biometric payment cards across Southeast Asia.

A statement says that the partnership will target the delivery of biometric smart cards by the end of 2022. The companies also agreed on a framework for collaboration on the development of biometrically authenticated solutions for storage of central bank digital or third-party cryptocurrencies, as well as the development of biometric solutions for authentication with digital ID cards for government, IoT, and enterprise applications.

The partnership is the latest for Idex, which announced a partnership with jNet ThingX and Infineon Technologies to offer a ready-to-go biometric authentication software platform for smart card manufacturers in November 2021.

“The Southeast Asia region represents a very large opportunity for biometric payment cards,” Vince Graziani, CEO of Idex Biometrics, states. “Since it was introduced, there has been strong interest in the TrustedBio turnkey solution. This additional design win adds to a growing list of customers and confirms that Idex Biometrics is enabling the acceleration of global deployment for biometric smart cards. Our collaboration with MKSmart will deliver biometric smart card solutions that enable a secure and seamless user experience to millions of consumers in Southeast Asia and globally.”

Zwipe and K2 join efforts for MENA and France

Zwipe has partnered with K2, an affiliate of Cards Systems Group (CSG), to meet growing demand for biometric payment cards in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and France.

CSG says it operates in over 20 countries to offer turnkey card payment and issuance solutions and is used by 100 customers with 10 million payment cards annually. Zwipe says it will provide K2 and CSG with technical support and services for the implementation of Zwipe Pay biometric cards, including value added services for issuers. The cards will be manufactured and delivered by Zwipe’s certified smart card manufacturers in the region, it adds.

Bassam Al Khatib, CEO of K2, says, “Our collaboration with Zwipe will be a catalyst in accelerating the deployment of biometric payment cards across the MEA region and France, markets well-known to us. It is time for banks to embrace next generation contactless cards using the cutting-edge biometric technology that Zwipe brings to the payment marketplace and end users.”

Al Khatib says several pilot programs with existing bank clients will be launched in the first half of 2022, with some already started. K2 will eventually follow into commercial launches as well.

Zwipe has announced a series of regional expansions in recent months. The Norwegian biometric company reported deals to cover the Middle East and Africa in September 2021; a pilot program in Egypt and a possible North American entry; and in January, deals in Mexico, Lebanon and India.

Ramzi Saboury, general manager at Zwipe for the MENA region, comments, “K2 and CSG are very important additions in our fast-growing delivery ecosystem and will be a key enabler for our accelerated growth in the MEA region and France. The Group is also a highly respected brand in delivering card personalization solutions and trusted by leading banks in the entire region. I am confident that this partnership will lead to multiple commercial launches of Biometric Payment Cards.”

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