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Zwipe prepares for multiple biometric payment card rollouts in Middle East

Zwipe prepares for multiple biometric payment card rollouts in Middle East

Norwegian firm Zwipe has inked a deal with Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), for the commercial launch of a card based on its biometric Zwipe Pay solution.

MEPS, founded in 2009, has a presence in Jordan, Iraq, and Palestine, and offers companies a variety of payments and card-based services. The payment platform is jointly owned by a combination of ten local and regional banks. The rollout will be the first for biometric payment cards to include multiple banks, according to a Zwipe representative.

Though the new card will be built on Mastercard’s ecosystem, the Middle Eastern firm acts as an issuer and acquirer for a variety of companies such as Visa, MasterCard, and UnionPay,

The company says the latest announcement builds on pilots which have already been conducted between the two firms over the last few months.

In addition, digital security firm Inkript is set to launch what it says will be the first commercialized biometric payment card based on Zwipe’s platform.

The new card will be available to ‘VIP’ customers of the Kuwait International Bank (KIB), a commercial bank based in Kuwait City.

This announcement came during Seamless Middle East 2023, a popular digital commerce event that is hosted annually in Dubai

This isn’t the first time Zwipe and Inkript have collaborated.

In May this year, Zwipe announced it would be supplying its biometric Pay card to Taiwanese card maker Beautiful Card Corp. (BCC) for its Mastercard-based line, with the cards also being produced by Inkript.

Some sources have predicted that growth is on the horizon for biometric cards. As per Mordor Intelligence, the worldwide market is predicted to hit $2.7 billion by 2027, up from just $15.5 million in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 117.76 percent predicted for the forecast period (2022-2027).

This expansion might not be coming quickly enough for some, according to Zwipe’s most recent financial statement, growth in the sector “is undeniably slower than” the Norwegian firm would like, as per Zwipe CEO Robert Puskaric.

But it’s not just Zwipe expanding its Middle Eastern footprint. In May, Zwipe competitor and sometimes-collaborator Idex Biometrics inked a deal with an unnamed middle eastern card manufacturer for “scaled deployment within their broad global customer portfolio.”

Idex says its cards are expected to reach the market in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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