France's Safran Identity & Security and Norwegian fingerprint sensor firm IDEX have revealed “significant progress” toward commercializing the world's first ISO standard form factor smart cards with a touch fingerprint sensor. The firms say a pilot card series has successfully passed testing and that the joint solution supports the strategic biometric program of a major payment programme.Payment cards with a fingerprint sensor will make it possible to replace the entry of a PIN.Safran Identity & Security and IDEX say they have partnered to design an innovative touch fingerprint sensor and develop a scalable process for integration and volume production of ISO ID-1 form factor cards.Safran provides the biometric card software, security expertise, and manufacturing capabilities. IDEX supplies the customized fingerprint sensor. The result of this collaboration is a significant breakthrough for the smart card industry in the form of a polymer touch sensor integrated into a standard thickness card that can be replicated efficiently in existing card production facilities. Moreover, the cards work with all existing standard POS (point of sales) terminals, foregoing the need of merchants to upgrade their systems.”This partnership combines our patented off-chip flexible polymer touch technology with Safran's world-leading biometric capabilities and its card manufacturing expertise to make biometric cards a commercial reality,” said Dr. Hemant Mardia, CEO of IDEX. “Our integrated solution has successfully passed comprehensive functional and reliability testing on a series of pilot production cards. We are now undergoing qualification of the solution under our strategic partnership in advance of expected trial programs. Subject to customer feedback and adoption, we anticipate the product will be ready for mass production in late 2016.””Our ambition is to simplify the everyday life of consumers. By integrating fingerprint biometrics into a payment card together with IDEX, we are enabling a smooth and secure payment experience as well as ensuring seamless integration within existing POS terminals”, commented Philippe Bertiaux, Vice President & General Manager, Payment Business Unit at Safran Identity & Security.