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Biometric payment cards from Idex to roll out in Turkey next year

Fingerprint Cards partners with Tag, Idemia supplies stablecoin pilot
Biometric payment cards from Idex to roll out in Turkey next year

Payment cards with fingerprint biometrics are continuing their long march to mass adoption, even as some are calling for the end of physical wallets.

Biometric smart cards are being jointly launched in Turkey by Idex Biometrics and Turkish ID verification and customer authentication company Enqura.

Enqura Information Technology has a portfolio of regional and international banks including HSBC, Odeabank (Bank Audi) and Burganbank, along with other financial institutions. The company also has partnerships with Apple, Google and Microsoft that position the biometric cards developed with Idex technology well for going to market in Turkey and Europe, according to the announcement.

Biometric smart cards from the partners are expected to reach the market in the first half of 2023.

“Idex Biometrics continues to accelerate the commercial ecosystem development in Turkey and across Europe, capturing the increasing demand for secure digital authentication solutions. The collaboration between Enqura and Idex Biometrics creates further opportunities for biometric smart cards” says Catharina Eklof, CCO of Idex Biometrics. “Enqura’s large portfolio of banks, fintechs and retailers will benefit from Idex Biometrics industry leading technology and solutions for biometric smart cards, and as such speed up market launches at scale.”

Fingerprint Cards and Tag partner

Partners Fingerprint Cards and Tag Systems are planning the launch of a biometric payment card with the second generation of the T-Shape sensor module and software platform from the former.

Tag contributes payment cards solutions and services based on the STPay-Topaz-Bio platform from ST Microelectronics.

Similar to Enqura, Tag says it has a portfolio of banks, fintechs and other customers that will be interested in issuing biometric cards.

“Tag Systems is a fast mover in the ecosystem and a company known for offering the latest high-end payments services. Together we are addressing the security concerns of many consumers while maintaining and even enhancing the contactless convenience that they know and love. In Tag Systems we have a partner that both shares our belief in the value of biometric cards and can bring added value through their biometric card as a service offering,” says Michel Roig, President of Payment & Access at Fingerprint Cards.

“With this partnership we aim to make biometric cards the top-of-wallet choice for consumers, leveraging Fingerprints’ established and proven solution for biometric cards,” says Olga Baró, commercial and marketing director of Tag Systems. “Cardholders will approve the transaction by fingerprint authentication which will result in safe, easy and convenient payments for everyday purchases.”

Tag also has a partnership with Zwipe for biometric payment cards, and recently received approval from Mastercard.

Stablecoin pilot uses Idemia biometric cards

Singaporean payment institution StraitsX is planning to pilot a series of applications for stablecoin management and payments with partners including Idemia.

Idemia will provide payment cards and offline payment capabilities based on the user’s mobile phone. The company is involved in a CBDC pilot in Japan, supplying cards which may or may not feature biometric authentication.

“We at Idemia firmly believe that stablecoins are redefining the very fundamentals of the payment ecosystem,” says Romain Zanolo, MD APAC at Idemia. “We’re proud that our ability to innovate has enabled Stablecoins payments leveraging our Biometric Card technology F.CODE. This partnership demonstrates again that Idemia’s secure offline payment solution became the de facto standard for stablecoins payments.”

The partnership, which also includes Mastercard, is intended to lower merchant fees and increase financial inclusion by allowing users with limited network access to make transactions with stablecoins.

Is the end nigh for payment cards?

An article in Wired suggests that payment cards will be pushed out of people’s wallets as those wallets go from pockets to smartphones.

Support for the notion comes in the form of a suggestion by Nick Holland of Money20/20 that payment cards could be retired, and the possibility that merchants could adopt NFC-reading phones instead of traditional payment card terminals. The top reason for the prediction, however, seems to be the authors enthusiasm for the convenience of mobile device-based transactions, and the ability of mobile wallets to serve other functions, like storing proof of vaccination.

Leaving aside the steeply declining relevance of the last point, do not expect dramatic overnight changes in retail POS infrastructure.

Less ATMs may soon rely on cards for account access, a new Technavio market report says. The global market for cardless ATMs will grow by over $2 billion from 2021 to 2026, according to the report, with over half of the growth in North America.

The claims are strikingly similar to some made back in 2016 when America’s three biggest banks began rolling out cardless ATMs.

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