Next Biometrics attributes contract wins in India to L1 transition, human approach
The Aadhaar digital ID program has made India an area of particular focus for Next Biometrics, along with many other biometric hardware and software developers.
The company delves into the importance of India as a market for Next and other biometrics providers in a recent post to its website. The post explores the interaction between the government’s ambitious application of biometrics and digital identity to address poverty and socio-economic issues, and the country’s booming economy.
Next India VP Digvijay Singh Kanwar says Aadhaar has made India the largest market in the world for fingerprint sensors today.
Kanwar recently closed a $6 million deal for Next in India, according to the post. That deal follows a $1.4 million contract to supply FAP20 fingerprint sensors to a new OEM customer announced in September, which came on the heels of Next sealing a $2.2 million deal with Indian OEM Access Computech Pvt. Ltd. That deal was finalized when Next’s partner received Aadhaar L1 security certification for the devices integrating the Sweden-based company’s biometric sensors.
Another contract signed by Next earlier this year with an unnamed Indian OEM for L1 -certified biometric devices subsequently doubled in value to $6.1 million. This may be the recently-closed deal alluded to in Next’s new post.
There are approximately 4.5 million Level 0 certified biometric devices in use in India, setting up a huge opportunity to replace them with more secure scanners.
The L1 certification program is one reason for all of this activity, but the overall maturity and near-universal adoption of India’s national digital ID means that every update to program specifications will have an outsized impact on the global market. Kanwar claims that Aadhaar has “changed the lives of hundreds of millions of people in India.”
“Prior to Aadhaar, sadly, the country’s large number of people living below the poverty line used to become victims of corruption and bureaucracy,” Kanwar says in the post. “During the previous conditions, for every 100 rupees aimed for a specific beneficiary, only about 15 of those rupees would ever be received by the entitled beneficiary in the end.”
Next explains how the process works, and Kanwar recounts watching poor people verify their identity with fingerprint biometrics for the first time, and receive bags of wheat and rice provided under a government poverty-alleviation program.
“How can biometrics change the lives of the people who really need it? I genuinely believe our technology is contributing to constructive changes, doing good for people. It is very important for me on a personal level to be involved in driving positive change,” Kanwar says. He suggests a human-centric approach is another reason for Next’s successes in India.
The company credits the tolerance to sunlight, moisture and sweating fingers, electrical and environmental noise, and the low power consumption and price of its large-area thermal sensors for its position in the Indian market. The strategy, according to the post, is to encourage partners to ask for Next fingerprint sensors, in the same way Intel built its brand without selling directly to device customers.