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Biometric payment card competition heats up; Idemia, Thales vie for Egypt contract

Biometric payment card competition heats up; Idemia, Thales vie for Egypt contract

The latest spate of biometric payment card releases includes an aspirational card by Mastercard in Morocco, the first corporate biometric payment card and an accelerated service acquisition process for Idemia services to help fintechs and neobanks get ahead. Meanwhile Idemia and Thales go head-to-head for a large contract from the Egyptian government to digitize banking.

Mastercard and Crédit Agricole partner to digitize cards, introduce biometric cards in Morocco

Crédit Agricole du Maroc (CAM) has partnered with Mastercard to develop new payment options including CAM Pay, which digitizes users’ bank cards for mobile transactions, reports La Quotidienne.

CAM Pay is available to Mastercard holders who have an Android device with NFC functionality.

The collaboration will also launch the World Elite biometric payment card from Mastercard. The card incorporates a fingerprint scanner for in-person transactions. Other premium card account perks are included such as lounge access.

Thales and Idemia vie for $108M Egyptian banking securities contract

French firms Thales and Idemia are running neck-and-neck for a €100 million contract to digitize Egypt’s banks, reports Africa Intelligence.

Thales is very active in Egypt, reports Africa Intelligence, although Idemia may have a more relevant relationship with the country.

In March 2020 Idemia announced plans to expand its business in Egypt with a shared services center. It agreed to work with Egypt Post to establish biometric digital identity services. The following August it signed a $200 million deal with the Council of Arab Economic Unity, of which Egypt is a member, to develop a biometrics-backed digital identity system.

In November 2020 the firm signed a deal with the Arab Organization for Industrialization for digital transformation and producing biometric devices in Egypt for civil and security use.

Africa Intelligence reports that in October 2021, it announced a partnership with e-Cards, a subsidiary of the state-run e-Finance Investment Group to deploy Idemia’s Card Personalization System in Egypt.

Idemia launches FinTech Accelerator Card Program

Idemia is launching an accelerated process for supplying its onboarding and payment card issuance services to fintechs and neobanks, the firm announced on Twitter.

The firm intends to give the new clients the edge in bringing products to market with an entire white label service from onboarding to personalized card issuance, with mobile identity proofing and features such as eco-responsible cards to help new contenders gain market share.

Manager.one trials biometric business card, with Idemia

In further Idemia news, entrepreneur-focused client neobank manager.one is trialing what it says is the first biometric payment card for professionals from Idemia and an online bank.

French professionals will be able trial the biometric card supplied by Idemia, using its F.CODE system. It contains a fingerprint sensor and can be used for contactless purchases up to €50 (roughly US$54).

Manager.one was the first online bank for corporate clients to offer Apple Pay and Google Pay.

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