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Biometric cards developers prepare to support mass adoption for payments, access control

Certification, partnerships and conference pitches set stage for next phase
Biometric cards developers prepare to support mass adoption for payments, access control

Biometric payment cards featured prominently among the presentations at the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association’s (APSCA’s) recent Next-Generation Cards 2022 event in Singapore. The market continues to prepare for mass adoption of biometric cards, meanwhile, with a new certification for STMicroelectronics, a partnership for Fingerprint Cards, and an SDK update from Neurotechnology.

Idemia reviewed the results of its 2021 international survey that showed strong interest in biometric cards for payments at the APSCA conference. The survey shows a preference among those over 50 years old to use cards for payments, rather than cash or mobile wallets.

The company also shared insights from early adoptions of its F.Code biometric cards by customers like online bank manager.one and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Zwipe VP of Business Development Antonio D’Albore surveyed the solutions for secure enrollment of customer’s fingerprint biometrics to the cards.

Solutions for customer biometric enrollment offered by Zwipe include an enrollment sleeve, an envelope, and enrolment through the user’s PC, tablet, or mobile phone. The envelope is designed for remote enrollment from the customer’s home, and the PC and tablet solutions for in-branch use. The mobile and sleeve solutions are designed to support either approach.

Thomas Decker of Linxens noted the lack of standards around biometric enrollment to payment cards in his presentation on the state of the market. The technology, however, is much further along than some other innovative card types, like those with embedded lights or displays.

STMicroelectronics receives EMVCo certification

STMicroelectronics has received EMVCo certification for its biometric payment card platform

The STPay-Topaz-Bio platform combines an embedded secure element with an ultra-low power microcontroller, for what the company describes as cost-effective and robust protection. The certification confirms the platform’s security and interoperability with existing payment systems.

“Card issuers everywhere can now take advantage of our certified STPay platform to deliver new products to market quickly, protected by biometric authentication that is extremely robust as well as easy to use,” says Laurent Degauque, marketing director, secure microcontroller division, STMicroelectronics.

ST expects certification to Mastercard and Visa’s payment schemes by early next year.

Fingerprint Cards partners on FIDO2 access control card

Fingerprint Cards is partnering with Taiwan-based card manufacturer SmartDisplayer on a biometric FIDO2 card for a range of logical access control applications.

The card integrates the FPC1323 sensor and the FPC-BEP software platform.

“We are happy to collaborate with SmartDisplayer to bring biometric authentication to FIDO2 card design,” says Roger Carrico, VP of sales, payment and access at Fingerprint Cards. “The result is a card which combines security, flexibility and user-friendliness, facilitating highly secure access to a multitude of devices and data. Enabling safe and convenient FIDO2 biometric cards for everyday use.”

A demo of the card is on display now at Trustech in Paris. The partners expect a prototype to be ready in Q1 2023, and certified in Q2.

MegaMatcher updated with NXP JCOP ID 2 support

Neurotechnology has launched an update to the MegaMatcher On Card SDK, which now supports the JCOP ID 2 solution from NXP Semiconductors.

MegaMatcher On Card 13 algorithms, including the javacardx biometric engine for one-to-one face and fingerprint biometric matching are now embedded in the NXP JCOP 4.5 operating system. An extension for 1-to-N fingerprint matching is also included.

“There are around 180 million smart cards and secure elements worldwide from different card manufacturers that include our MegaMatcher On Card technology,” comments Antonello Mincone, business development director for Neurotechnology. “We are very glad to continue our strategic collaboration with NXP and to be able to offer our multimodal biometric matching engine for secure microcontrollers with the JCOP platform.”

Implementation is also simplified for smart cards without MegaMatcher On Card preloaded in their Flash with MegaMatcher On Card 13, the companies say. The new version includes a new implementation of the fingerprint engine written in Java for generic Java cards.

“NXP has been providing high security solutions well suited for the governmental electronic identity market for over a decade,” says Julien Vintrou, segment marketing manager for eGovernment at NXP. “We’re excited to offer our NXP-first CC EAL 6+ certified biometric match-on-card solution that adds an additional level of security for user authentication thanks to our JCOP ID 2 and the software solution developed by Neurotechnology.”

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