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Future of biometric payments and digital ID taking shape

Future of biometric payments and digital ID taking shape

Palm biometrics is one of the in-person payment authentication modalities the major platform operators are betting on, and digital wallets are where we all keep our IDs in the future. In the former case, Mastercard has partnered with Ingenico, Fulcrum, Fujitsu Frontech and Scanntech, and Amazon is doubling down. In the latter case, eleven teams are getting a shot to prototype Germany’s digital wallet, as the continent and digital identity ecosystem come to grips with the implications of eIDAS 2.0.  The biometrics industry is as shaped by the heavyweights as any other, and as the top stories of the week on Biometric Update show, long-standing questions are being answered by those who can put the most weight on the scales. Elsewhere, Hypr fills the coffers and Yoti age estimation launches on another major platform.

Top biometrics news of the week

Palm vein biometrics for in-store payments continue to gain steam. Mastercard is tapping Ingenico, Fulcrum Biometrics, Fujitsu Frontech and Scanntech to deploy the technology to a retail chain in Uruguay, while Amazon has added remote enrollment for its Amazon One palm biometrics payment system through a mobile app. Mastercard this week also announced a face and iris biometric payment pilot in Poland, its first biometric checkout program trial in Europe.

Japan is adding support for digital wallets to its My Number national digital ID system, starting with Apple Wallet next spring. The passage of a new law updates the My Number system enables this first step for Apple Wallet IDs outside of the U.S. Lawmakers envisage the use of My Numbers on smartphones for a wide range of public and private sector interactions.

eEstonia Digital Transformation Adviser Erika Piirmets tells Biometric Update in an interview that the country’s mature digital government makes high uptake of its EU Digital Identity Wallet quite likely. Piirmets explains the evolving ecosystem of ID credentials in Estonia, the country’s work to enable cross-border interoperability, and ongoing work to bring electronic voting to mobile devices.

Mobile driver’s licenses represent a major opportunity to move towards decentralized digital identity, but a panel at Identiverse hosted by OpenID Foundation notes that complex standards need to be orchestrated. For mDLs and digital wallets to be adopted, they need to be interoperable. Wallets need to be trusted by issuers, and relying parties need to be trusted by wallets.

Germany has selected Sphereon, Ubique Innovation, Animo Solutions, Governikus, Tice and Authada to participate in its EUDI Wallet prototype design competition. Each company will receive funding to develop a wallet for Android or iOS. Teams from Google, Samsung, Kaprion, Lissi and wwWallet have been chosen for the non-funded track. Government agency SPRIND is operating the competition over the next 13 months.

Customer Futures’ Jamie Smith made the case that eIDAS 2.0 is an opportunity to tread a new path in digital identity at KuppingerCole’s EIC 2024 this week. Smith says digital wallets and verifiable credentials can empower businesses with direct access to trustworthy information and people with more control and data privacy.

Humane AI looks unlikely to be the next big thing in consumer electronics or biometric wearables, especially when it’s on fire. Fire is a risk associated with a third-party battery cell in a charging case, which has since been replaced, The Verge reports. The New York Times adds that the company has had talks for an acquisition by HP, and notices a pattern of excessive hype for particular AI products.

Cybersecurity giant Gen Digital is running an identity verification pilot for employee onboarding with reusable digital credentials in partnership with Accenture. The pilot uses Accenture’s Verifiable Credentials Portal and HR software platform, and Gen Digital’s Midy app, which features selfie biometrics from Onfido.

Nepal is progressing through a digital transformation that has already enabled online birth registration in most of the country. Implementation of the national digital identity, made with technology from Idemia, is uneven so far, but the government has a plan to promote the use of its biometric ID cards.

Dr. Joseph Atick shares his thoughts in the success of ID4Africa 2024, finding harmony within the diversity of African viewpoints on digital identity and the tremendous progress made over the past ten years with Biometric Update in a post-event interview. Atick also has a prediction for the future success of the ID4Africa’s mission.

Hypr has raised $30 million from a venture capital investor, with which it plans to fuel the development of cryptographic tech for protecting its passwordless authentication and identity assurance tools from the threat of generative AI. The company reports dramatic growth in passkey deployments last past, and has been integrating and expanding its portfolio.

Facebook is turning on biometric facial age estimation from Yoti for users in Australia, following a successful rollout on Meta’s Instagram, and in anticipation of a global rollout. Australian politicians, meanwhile, continue to spar on the topic of what age restrictions should be in place online.

If you see any editorials, podcasts or other content we should share with the people in fields of biometrics and digital identity, please let us know in the comments below or through social media.

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