Zwipe partners on multi-function biometric cards, revenue and losses up
A series of biometric card deals increased both revenues and operating expenses significantly for Zwipe in 2021, the company has announced, along with a new partnership with India-based company sKarn RoboticS. As part of the collaboration, sKarn RoboticS will strengthen its solution portfolio with biometric access control and payment cards built on Zwipe’s technology.
From an organizational standpoint, the company will take deliveries from unnamed manufacturers of biometric cards in Zwipe’s global ecosystem located in Asia.
For context, sKarn RoboticS is one of the key contributors to the ‘Self Reliance’ initiative of the Indian government, which has recently bestowed upon it the ‘2021 Global Revolutionary Founder of the Year’ and ‘2021 Global Innovative Product of the Year’ awards.
“Zwipe’s extremely secure biometric payment and access control cards strongly complement our core values and fit perfectly in the WeCript Ecosystem, our solution portfolio,” says sKarn RoboticS’ COO The Karn.
“From Q3 2022 or before, we aim to launch pilots for our B2C and B2B customers with a few thousand biometric access control and payment cards and expect a rapid scale-up thereafter. Biometric cards will create meaningful value for all our customers.”
Revenues, operating expenses and EBITDA losses up
Second-half and full-year 2021 earnings announcements show Zwipe pulled in NOK 1.14 million (approximately US$126,000) and NOK 2.5 million ($280,000), respectively. The company’s EBITDA fell, however, to a loss of NOK 74.6 million ($8.2 million) for the year on a 34 percent increase in operating expenses to NOK 85.5 million ($9.4 million).
The full-year increases in operating expenses and EBITDA loss were also reflected in second-half results.
The company says nine new engagements with smart card manufacturers and personalization bureaus represent potential annual volumes of 250 million cards. Zwipe also booked orders for deliveries of its Zwipe Pay biometric card platform that are expected to generate NOK 20 million ($2.2 million) in 2022.
Commitments for biometric payment card pilots were reached with eleven issuers in 2021, and Zwipe is supplying technology for a pilot in three European markets by a global Tier 1 bank ahead of a planned commercial roll-out this year.
Biometric payments cards adoption to grow in Singapore
Zwipe has also recently led a consumer investigation in Singapore to analyze users’ payment preferences and thoughts regarding biometric payment cards’ adoption.
The survey was spotted by CioReview APAC, and reportedly gathered the responses of more than 150 individuals.
According to the survey, biometric cards were preferred by 88 percent of respondents when considering future payment cards.
Roughly 70 percent of those surveyed confirmed they were willing to switch banks for a more secure payment method, and 4 out of 5 said they were concerned about the risks of infection posed by non-contactless solutions.
Commenting on the survey’s results, Claus Hansen, Zwipe’s newly-hired VP of Sales for APAC, told CioReview the payments market in Singapore is “mature and sophisticated,” and that Singaporean consumers are “now expecting card issuers to step up in the more typical smart card market.”
Zwipe’s share capital increases
In other news, Zwipe’s Board of Directors met on 20 January 2022, and the company confirmed a share capital increase of 384,000 new shares in Zwipe AS.
The move comes weeks after Zwipe announced new deals with partners in Mexico, Lebanon, and India.
This brings the new total share capital of the company to NOK 3,736,668.50 (roughly $422,370), and the new number of shares and votes to 37,266,685.
The decision was recorded on Tuesday in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises.