Zwipe, Fingerprint Cards looking for growth after disappointing Q1
It is another tough quarter in biometric identification and at least two publicly traded players, Fingerprint Cards and Zwipe, are trying to lay groundwork for recoveries in subcategories of their operations.
Executives for both companies have included growth tactics with their first-quarter results but it is hard not to stare at the pair’s disappointing numbers.
According to Fingerprint Cards‘ interim Q1 report, the company had loss of 70 million Swedish kronor, or SEK 0.17 per share, on revenue of SEK 117 million for the period ending March 31. That compares with a loss of SEK 26 million, or SEK 0.09, on revenue of SEK 300 million.
Zwipe has issued an abbreviated financial statement for the same period, making it difficult to draw many comparisons to previous periods or to its competitors. The information released shows the company, generally, in a positive light.
The company reported “an underlying average monthly operating negative cash flow” of 8.2 million Norwegian kroner (US$767,000) compared to a negative cash flow of NOK 8.5 million ($795,000) in the same period a year ago.
Total revenue was NOK 1.7 ($159,000) for the first quarter compared to revenue of NOK 600,000 ($56,000) a year ago.
Executives said cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter were NOK 122 million ($11.4 million) in the quarter, about NOK 100 million ($9.4 million), of which came in via rights issue.
Cash and equivalents otherwise would have been closer to SEK 22 million ($2.1 million) compared to cash and equivalents of SEK 131 million ($12.6 million) at the end of the first quarter of 2022, according to the company. Cash levels were SEK 51 million ($4.9 million) in the last quarter of 2022.
In his quarterly statement, Zwipe CEO Robert Puskaric says market adoption of biometric payment cards – such as his Pay product — “is undeniably slower than we would like.” But he says smart card makers, Zwipe’s customers, are showing “strong interest” in getting biometric cards in consumers’ hands.
Most of the proceeds from the rights issue will be funneled to Pay commercialization efforts. In the meantime, Puskaric says, the company’s Access security line appears to be finding market acceptance.
The company has focused on sales into the United States and Nordic nations, resulting in 15 proofs of concept that he says could graduate to execution “in the coming months.”
Access products are attractive right now to Fingerprint Cards, too.
That market, according to a statement issued by Fingerprint Cards CEO Ted Hansson, “will grow the fastest over the short term.” That technology will get sizeable research-and-development investments within the company, Hansson says.
As part of this push, the company will work with a startup, Flywallet, to introduce biometrics products to wearables hardware, specifically in Europe.