Biometrics for payments, events targeted as growth areas
Biometrics at retailers and event venues made up a pair of the most-read stories of the week on Biometric Update, with Mastercard and NEC striking a deal on technology for point-of-sale systems, and a webinar featuring Veridas describing a market area with major growth potential. Decentralized digital ID is on the minds of influential people, while IN Groupe’s acquisition of Danish digital ID products adds to another modest wave of consolidation following a slower period for M&A.
Top biometrics news of the week
Veridas executives and veteran biometrics consultant Doug OGorden discussed how fan experiences at stadiums and other venues can be improved by biometrics in a webinar hosted by Biometric Update last week. Combining digital and physical experiences can enhance fans’ pricey “magical moments” in a variety of ways, from faster entry to touchless concessions. A Belgian soccer team has selected Palmki to provide biometric entry in the latest example of the segment’s growth.
Mastercard will use face biometrics and liveness detection algorithms from NEC for its Biometric Checkout Program. The payment program, introduced with a pilot in Brazil last year, is expected to roll out to retail points-of-sale in the Asia-Pacific region, with intended benefits of shorter payment lines, increased security, and touchless transactions.
India’s national biometric authentication system has been offline for nearly 55 hours in total in the first 9 months of this year, according to UIDAI stats. That figure represents over 99 percent uptime, but has drawn accusations of incompetence. The system has now performed more than 100 billion authentications.
The UNDP’s 50-in-5 initiative to spur the development of effective digital public infrastructure has kicked off with commitments from 11 countries. They will work on not just standing up DPI, but making it safe, inclusive and interoperable. Brazil and Togo shared their experiences with real-time payment platforms for public services and benefits in a star-studded launch event earlier this month.
The Humane Ai Pin has caught the imagine of Silicon Valley financiers and tech media observers, yielding some clarity on the personal device’s authentication capabilities. In addition to the heartbeat biometrics that the company says can be used to authenticate wearers, the wearable includes a microphone and camera, plus gesture recognition, suggesting that voice and face biometrics could also be implemented.
The technical work on decentralized digital ID is far enough along to start realizing its benefits, if the legal and commercial frameworks could catch up, panelists said at the Future Identity Festival. Biometric Update reported from live on location in London about stakeholder discussions on the role of digital wallets and how regulators are reacting to the digital fraud landscape.
Decentralized digital ID is set to play a major part in the metaverse, KuppingerCole says in an analyst note. In this case, scalability issues related to the bandwidth demands of self-sovereign ID and other decentralized systems pose a potential barrier. The note includes advice for blockchain developers, enterprises and decentralized ID vendors.
IN Groupe acquired MitID and NemLog-in, pillars of Denmark’s national digital ID system, from Nexi for an unknown return. The deal is expected to expand IN Groupe’s digital identity portfolio and help it serve customers throughout Europe. Nexi will shift its focus to payments.
Israel is making significant changes to the way it manages biometric data, with security forces gaining unfettered access to the national database, ostensibly to identify citizens murdered or kidnapped by terrorists. The Times of Israel reports that the pace of identifications of victims killed during the October 7 attacks has slowed to 16 in the 6 days from November 8 to 14, and that 859 of about 1,200 had been identified. The new powers come with sunset options at 6 and 12 months.
Sri Lanka is about to tender a contract for 5 million biometric passports and another for as many national ID cards, and is also re-floating a contract for the national digital ID after the last attempt was annulled. The World Bank is also funding the country’s continued digitization, but critics have expressed concern for how the unstable country’s digital ID will be used.
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