IDEX Biometrics, a leading provider of advanced fingerprint identification and authentication solutions, is pleased to announce that China Construction Bank (CCB), one of the world's largest banks and a leader in the development of China's Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) infrastructure, has expanded certain “digital renminbi” (数字人民币 in Chinese) trials to include the issuance of smart cards that are secured by IDEX Biometrics fingerprint sensors and biometric software.These smart cards will serve as digital “hard wallets” for participants in CCB's DCEP pilots, which to date have involved the deployment of “soft wallets” in the form of mobile phone applications. DCEP is an encrypted, digital version of the renminbi, China's national currency, and represents legal tender administered by the People's Bank of China, the nation's central bank. A digital renminbi hard wallet resembles a conventional dual-interface smart card, with secure processing, encrypted memory, and near-field communication capabilities in the secure element. The card's stored value is further secured with advanced fingerprint recognition and authentication provided by IDEX Biometrics. This enhanced level of integrated, dedicated security gives sponsoring organizations such as CCB the confidence to allow higher transaction limits and higher stored balances on card-based “hard wallets” than allowed on vulnerable phone-based “soft wallets”. Users are afforded both ease of use and a high level of protection. “As the DCEP initiative continues to evolve, there is a significant market opportunity for offline hardware wallets protected by fingerprint biometrics,” said IDEX Chief Executive Officer, Vince Graziani. “Low cost and easy to use hardware wallets are the perfect solution for enabling the DCEP initiative to reach those who do not have access to a smartphone or a bank, who would be otherwise left behind in a digital currency world. The emerging hardware wallet application is an incremental market opportunity beyond the already large market for biometric payment cards.”