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Biometric payment cards launching in Japan, Turkey

Idex and Kona plan Japanese market entry
Biometric payment cards launching in Japan, Turkey

Biometric payment cards and access cards from Idex Biometrics and South Korean-headquartered Kona I are coming to Japan.

Credit card fraud is spiking in Japan, with a 30 percent year-over-year increase, leading to greater interest from banks in biometric cards as well as metal cards, according to the announcement. Kona I and Idex will also work together on biometric access control and payment cards for government, public and private sector entities.

The partners say their fingerprint smart card platform provides end-to-end authentication compatible with the FIDO2 protocol.

Kona I has an annual production capacity of more than 60 million cards, and the Japanese market is expected to make up 30 percent of its business by 2025. Japan has a high penetration rate for contactless payments, and credit cards are the leading cashless payment method in the country. The cashless payment market in Japan is growing at an 8 percent CAGR towards an expected $870 billion value by 2028.

The biometric cards from Kona I are expected to become available during the second half of 2024.

“The partnership with IDEX Biometrics enables us to react to the fast-growing demand for biometric smart cards in Japan,” says Koichiro Sasai, head of KONA Japan LLC as a subsidiary of KONA I. “We are proud to offer bank customers in Japan the most innovative access and payment solutions. There is a very strong demand from affluent customer who seek the highest security and unparalleled value and user experiences, as offered by biometric metal cards.”

Idex and Kona struck a deal to provide the former’s Pay platform for recycled PVC and metal cards in October.

Turkish bank issuing biometric payment cards ‘shortly’

Biometric payment cards are also being introduced in Turkey by Garanti BBVA, which has announced the Bonus Platinum Biometric Card.

Garanti’s Turkish customers can apply for a biometric payment card through online and mobile channels, the BonusFlaş app, brank branches or by phone.

The bank has a long-standing partnership to issue Mastercards, and says its new biometric cards “will be available shortly.”

“We have adopted biometric payment authentication as one of the cornerstones of our security infrastructure, as it is considered the global standard for secure verification,” Mastercard General Manager for Türkiye and Azerbaijan Avşar Gürdal says. “By investing in biometric solutions, we are not only addressing the evolving security challenges of the digital age, but also improving the payment experience, making it safer, faster and more convenient for everyone.”

Garanti established its bona fides as an early biometrics adopter when it introduced iris biometrics for mobile authentication in 2019.

Idex signed a deal last year to provide biometric payment cards to a Turkish regional bank during the first half of 2023.

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