BIO-key International, a provider of biometric and multi-factor identity and access management (IAM) solutions, today reported results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (Q1'21). Highlights included:BIO-key began initial technology deployments for its large-scale ID projects in Africa, recording hardware revenue of $680k in Q1.BIO-key secured a $1.2M, three-year contract extension from a Fortune 500 telecommunications customer for fingerprint biometric security support services. BIO-key added new higher education customer contracts in the quarter, extending the penetration of its PortalGuard™ identity and access management solution, while also converting several customers to the new cloud hosted version, PortalGuard IDaaS (Identity-as-a-Service).U.S. Department of Justice Division Leverages PortalGuard for Secure Authentication.West Coast State Increased Deployment of BIO-key's Biometric Authentication Solution to secure access to Centralized Voter Registration database.BIO-key secured a U.S. patent for enabling next-generation continuous biometric user authentication, increasing its IP portfolio to 18 patents.BIO-key CEO Michael DePasquale commented, “Our first quarter performance reflects the progress BIO-key has achieved over the past year in expanding and strengthening our business. We saw improved demand across the business in the first quarter, adding 29 new members to our Channel Alliance Partner program, positioning BIO-key to pursue a much broader base of opportunities on a global basis. Importantly, after several quarters of delay, we commenced initial hardware shipments in support of our large-scale ID projects in Africa and expect to see growing momentum as we progress through the year.”We also continue to focus on innovation and new product development to provide greater functionality and value to our enterprise customers. We recently launched our new mobile app, BIO-key MobileAuthTM with PalmPositiveTM, a touchless palm-scan authentication technology for IOS and Android systems. This easy-to-use app requires no specialized hardware, as it utilizes the device's camera, offers fast registration and enrollment while supporting multifactor and Single Sign-on solutions to streamline logins, while also making them more secure. MobileAuth builds upon our substantial biometric experience to add touchless biometric capabilities to the 16 authentication factors already supported by BIO-key's PortalGuard® platform.”PalmPositive is substantially more accurate than common, user-controlled mobile biometric authentication methods. Given the well-known deficiencies in traditional authentication methods, such as passwords, we believe enterprises are increasingly recognizing that they have no choice but to raise the bar on their authentication methods. We plan to add other identity-bound biometric authentication methods, such as voice and facial recognition, to the MobileAuth application in 2021. This will extend our leadership and support for strong multi-factor authentication (MFA) that offers the highest levels of integrity, security, accuracy, and availability across devices.”We continue to see building demand for our PortalGuard solution within the higher education and enterprise markets, particularly our cloud-hosted, IDaaS solution, launched in Q4. PortalGuard IDaaS is an ideal solution for enterprises and institutions that are increasingly moving their IT infrastructure to the 'asset-light' cloud model. The transition to the cloud has been accelerated by the pandemic and the rapid rise in work-from-anywhere and study-from-home demands, and we believe the need to support remote access is here to stay. Off-premises access creates unprecedented IT security challenges as more users access mission critical data and applications outside the enterprise firewall. BIO-key helps enterprises meet these challenges with attractively priced IAM solutions supporting a wide array of MFA options, including our core, patented biometric capabilities.”BIO-key's Channel Alliance Partner (CAP) Program continues to build momentum and is expected to be a key component of our long-term growth strategy as it helps us to substantially expand our reach into new customers on a global basis. We have grown to 60 Partners over the past year, and we are working to double the size of this program in coming months, having expanded the program to include managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) in addition to system integrators and value-added resellers. We are targeting partners in key verticals, including financial services, government, and higher education – where our solutions and value proposition are well established.”During the first quarter, we delivered our first shipment of biometric fingerprint scanners in support of our initiatives in Nigeria, recording initial revenue of $680K in the period. We anticipate increased activity from these contracts throughout 2021, while we continue pursuing other projects in neighboring countries, and additional opportunities across Africa.