Fingerprint Cards reveals biometric card collaborations in India

Fingerprint Cards reveals biometric card collaborations in India

Biometrics company, Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints) and Mswipe, one of India’s leading end-to-end digital enablers for SMEs, will collaborate and bring biometric debit and credit cards to India, targeting 940 million active payment card customers. Fingerprints’ proven biometric technology, along with Mswipe, who is India’s largest independent mobile POS merchant acquirer and network provider, will target around 100,000 existing customers. The collaboration will feature Fingerprints’ T-Shape® module and software platform.

“We are happy to collaborate with Mswipe, being a leader of digital payment provider in India. With the wide partner portfolio secured by Mswipe, we truly believe adding biometric solutions to their product range will add convenience and easy payments for merchants and consumers in the region. Contactless and digital payments are growing fast in India, as consumers are choosing touch-free, safe and seamless ways to pay,” says Michel Roig, President of Payments & Access at Fingerprints.

“We selected Fingerprints’ biometric solution as the leading technology in the market. It offers proven biometric performance and the lowest power consumption, features which are of the highest importance for contactless biometric cards. Introducing biometric payment cards offers great benefits for our merchants and consumers alike, as contactless payments in India continue to grow quickly,” says Manish Patel, MD at Mswipe.

Fingerprint Cards and Transcorp, a 27-year-old Reserve Bank of India-regulated Prepaid Instruments license holder, have also collaborated to bring cutting-edge biometric technology to India. Transcorp has pioneered and democratized co-branded cards in India for fintechs and has a varied and broad portfolio of B2B partners. The biometric cards to be launched will feature Fingerprints’ T-Shape module®, which is tailored to be integrated in biometric payment cards using standard automated manufacturing processes.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Transcorp, to bring state of the art contactless biometric cards to Transcorp’s customers. This collaboration will bring consumers in India a more secure, fast, and convenient payment experience. We see huge potential in India and the APAC region since contactless payment transactions have been increasing year-on-year,” says Michel Roig, President of Payments & Access at Fingerprints.

Ayan Agarwal, who heads the PPI Business at Transcorp, added, “In the spirit of financial innovation and payments security, we are thrilled to collaborate to launch India’s first contactless biometric authenticated card! This will further expand offerings to over one million Transcorp customers. Delivering this project required the approvals of many entities, which Transcorp was able to secure in record time. This reinforces continuous successful efforts to enable Transcorp’s fintech partners to achieve their desired milestones by aligning stakeholder deliverables.”

Fingerprint Cards signs contract for touchless solution with Mantra Softech

Fingerprint Cards signs contract for touchless solution with Mantra Softech

Fingerprint Cards today announced that the company has signed a multi-year contract for its touchless (iris) solution with Mantra Softech India Pvt Ltd, the largest Indian biometric device and sensor manufacturer, exporting to more than 60 countries across the world. Fingerprints’ world-leading, high-security iris recognition solution will be used in multiple devices from Mantra Softech India Pvt Ltd in the coming years.

“We are very pleased with this contract, which confirms the positive trend in demand for touchless solutions. It demonstrates the strength of our solution, and the tight collaboration with Mantra Softech India Pvt Ltd,” comments Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payment & Access at Fingerprints.

“The combination of Fingerprints’ cutting-edge iris solution and our proprietary hardware highly complement each other. We are really delighted with our close collaboration and look forward to continuing it,” says Hiren Bhandari, Director of Mantra Softech India Pvt Ltd.

Biometric access card from UK’s Freevolt features FPC tech

Biometric access card from UK’s Freevolt features FPC tech

Freevolt Technologies (formerly Drayson Technologies) – a UK technology company developing next-generation biometric smart card products for access control, cryptocurrency wallets and the healthcare sector – has announced it is launching S-Key, a battery-less biometric access card integrating the T-Shape sensor module by Fingerprint Cards AB.

With an S-Key access card, it is now possible for users to access physical areas securely and conveniently without having to touch the reader or a PIN pad because the user’s biometric data is stored securely on the card.

“We are immensely proud to be working with Fingerprints, who are leaders in fingerprint technologies, and who have been incredibly supportive throughout our development of S-Key. By integrating our leading-edge Freevolt energy harvesting technology with Fingerprints’ best-in-class sensors and software, we have created a battery-less and revolutionary biometric access control card, which is available to order now. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Fingerprints.” – Gonzalo de Gisbert, Head of Product and Business Development at Freevolt Technologies.

More secure and frictionless access and authentication methods are now high on the agendas of enterprises to keep workplaces safe. Biometrics not only plays a role in securing the modern workplace but can also improve convenience by saving users time and giving employees greater flexibility over how, when and where they work.

To support easier integration, S-Key is compliant with existing access control infrastructure.

How biometric cards can stifle fraud concerns

How biometric cards can stifle fraud concerns

By Lina Andolf-Orup, Senior Director, Global Marketing at Fingerprint Cards

Contactless payment technology first came to the UK in September 2007. Like the rest of the world, UK consumers have grown to love the convenience of contactless, which now accounts for 57% of all in-store transactions following a 90% growth between 2019 and 2020.  

Recognizing the benefits of contactless, in March 2021, it was announced that the limit would more than double from £45 to £100 (USD 137), which took effect in October 2021. This placed the UK amongst the highest limits in the world

While the increased limit has opened the doors to more tap and go transactions, existing worries are likely to be intensified. In search of a solution, the UK can look to banks in France, Switzerland and Mexico and their launches of the biometric payment card.

Growing limits, growing worries

Initially, the £10 cap limited consumers to low-value items. However, as the years rolled by, the limits went up. From £10 to £15, then £20, £30, then £45 at the onset of the pandemic, before finally rocketing to £100 in October 2021. Compared to the early days of only being able to buy a cup of coffee and a newspaper, consumers can now use contactless for goods such as their weekly family grocery shop or a full tank of fuel. 

Yet, the UK has not escaped contactless skepticism. Even before the limit increase, 53% of UK consumers were worried about the risk of contactless fraud if their card is lost or stolen, and the new limit has not helped.  

Consumers can now spend £300 before a PIN is needed, leading the media to label contactless cards a ‘thief’s dream’. Exacerbating these concerns is research from the consumer watchdog Which? that found, in 2016, some banks were not safeguarding consumers against contactless fraud. While banks may have adopted a more robust approach since then, stories like this do nothing to calm consumers. 

It’s not just consumers who face the risk of higher losses. To help safeguard customers, the UK payments regulators expanded credit regulations, requiring banks and issuers to refund victims of contactless fraud, opening up the probability of increased losses. 

A mixed reaction to the new limit

Looking at the reaction of the UK payments and retail ecosystem, there are signs that the £100 limit has not been met with as much enthusiasm as some might have hoped. 

The industry body for UK retailers, the British Retail Consortium’s response highlighted that not all retailers plan to implement the new limit. One of the biggest concerns is the risk of higher losses from contactless walk-offs. This happens when a consumer accidentally doesn’t pay for their purchase after they fail to notice that a PIN is needed. This happens either when they have reached the limit of consecutive contactless transactions, or the cumulative contactless transaction value has been hit. While this is less of a problem at staffed checkouts, it poses a significant risk with self-service machines. 

Currently, levels of contactless fraud are relatively low – equivalent to less than 2p in every £100 in 2020. However, this is before contactless cards became a more lucrative target for criminals. Banks need to be proactive to minimize the risk of higher contactless limits to maintain trust in the technology. 

The mixed response does not do much to support clarity amongst consumers about contactless limits. For example, if a customer expects to pay £100 using a contactless card, yet the retailer has not implemented the limit, this could be met with confusion, and possibly anger, at the checkout, undermining the overall convenience of contactless.

An increasing and misplaced burden 

Following the introduction of the £100 limit, banks have adopted varied approaches to maintain trust. One method deployed by some banks is allowing customers to set their own limits, or even allow them to disable contactless entirely – a tactic that consumers seem to favor. 

Alongside putting customers in control of contactless limits, banks are reminding them to be more vigilant with their cards and to check their statements more regularly. This makes sense from the bank’s perspective; they need to act to support customers. But placing additional responsibility on customers to mitigate fraud risks can potentially derail the progress contactless technology has made to become the favorite in-store payment method. And this shouldn’t be the case. 

To ensure consumers continue to use and trust contactless technology as limits rise, banks can instead utilize the robust security and frictionless experience provided by biometrics. The success of this approach can be seen in mobile wallets, with some UK banks advising customers to explore their use following the contactless limit increase. 

Since mobile wallets require authentication for each transaction, and often use biometrics to do so, the introduction of biometrics to payment cards will bring consistency to the in-store payments experience across card and mobile – with biometrics being the authentication bridge between them.

Bringing Biometrics to Britain  

With biometric payment cards, banks, issuers, retailers and consumers can unlock the full potential that contactless brings to in-store payments. Alongside added protection reducing fraud risks and lost revenue, it provides the convenience of avoiding contactless limits – and the confusion they can bring – altogether. 

The building blocks are in place for biometric payment cards to reach mass market. Milestones such as achieving new compliance, strategic collaborations and exciting technical innovations are continually lowering market barriers. 

There is already significant interest in the UK. When UK consumers were asked if they would prefer a biometric payment card, 48% said ‘yes’, 62% would switch banks to get one, and 42% would be willing to pay extra for it. NatWest and RBS have taken an early lead by identifying the potential of biometric card technology and have undertaken pilot tests. 

Moving forward, banks and issuers need to ensure they are supporting customers by adding strong authentication to the ‘tap’ of contactless. In doing so, they can take a significant step in reducing the worries intensified by higher contactless limits. 

Learn more about the global potential of biometric payment cards by downloading our latest eBook

 

Op-ed: Unpacking the PC’s potential – Biometric quality for digital transformation

Op-ed: Unpacking the PC’s potential – Biometric quality for digital transformation

By Ted Hansson, Fingerprint Cards, SVP Business Line Mobile

Within a growing PC and laptop market fueled by changing digital trends, devices sitting at the upper end of performance are often found in the workplace. Here, PCs – both personal and shared – support complex uses and diverse professions. From accountants to doctors, CEOs to software engineers, whether they are in the office or working remotely, all rely on digital infrastructure. And security is paramount.

Increasingly common flexible working arrangements are exposing vulnerabilities as 84% of IT and security decision makers report an increase in digital attacks. In 2020, the average cost of a breach was $3.86 million and, in 2021, cyber-attacks will cost organizations $6 trillion.

Biometrics and Zero Trust

In response, as many as three quarters of organizations are turning towards a Zero Trust approach underpinned by logical access control. This requires continuous digital ID validation rather than one-off authentication with network credentials. The challenge is to achieve this without hindering the user experience.

Biometrics is helping PC manufacturers and platforms keep pace with these requirements, while increasing security and convenience for enterprises and users. This applies whether they are used as part of a standalone digital access solution, or alongside traditional methods as part of a multi factor authentication approach.

So, how can the biometrics sector play their part in supporting organizations integrate the technology into their workflows?

Only the best: A quality-first approach to PC biometrics

Within digital transformation strategies, IT decision makers focus heavily on hardware specifications. Power, performance, memory, durability, ergonomics…all these factors combine to drive productivity.

PC biometrics must fall in line with this pursuit of perfection to add value and tackle some of the myths and misconceptions that have developed. By achieving this, the IT sector can pave a smoother path towards ‘Zero Trust’. But what does biometric quality look like?

Performance: is the solution convenient and reliable?

As with any innovation, a key question amongst users is: “will it work?”. The same is true for biometrics.

In the early days of PC biometrics, users were left unimpressed. Adoption did not follow. Users faced high false rejection rates (FRR), where the correct fingerprint is presented and not accepted. This was not a good user experience back then, nor would it support the continuous authentication needed for Zero Trust now.

Over the years, extensive R&D in sensor technology has transformed sensors, increased stability and minimized false rejection rates. Supported by increasingly sophisticated matching and authentication algorithms, sensors now also work in a variety of different settings, such as 360-degree recognition, to even reading wet, damaged, and aged fingers.

Compared to older PC biometrics, FRR*s are now less than three in every 100 uses, sometimes lower. This delivers quick, effective, and consistent authentication, fit for the enterprise.

Security: how does it resist hacks and spoofs?

With security a key priority, resisting hacking is another priority area for the biometrics sector.

Scalable attacks occur when PINs and passwords are compromised, by hacks or even by a shoulder surfer prowling for credentials. However, with biometrics, enterprises can rest easy thanks to presentation attack detection and resistance to spoofing. So, what do PC makers and businesses need to know?

A common myth: ‘biometric sensors capture an image of my fingerprint’. This misleads users into believing that they can be spoofed easily. In reality, biometric sensors capture and store a mathematical binary (1s and 0s) representation of the user’s information. Storing data as template code means information cannot be reverse engineered by hackers. On top of this, templates can be made specific to each device, further reducing the risk.

While nothing is ‘unbreakable’, successful spoofing is extremely rare, expensive and take place with willing targets and controlled lab settings.

Privacy: how are the users protected?

In the age of data privacy, many consumers are concerned about how their data is captured, stored and used. Although use of biometrics is on the rise, it has not escaped these worries, and presents another key point of quality.

Centralized biometric databases are a source of anxiety for users, with 38% of consumers having worries. This could put users off, and derail enterprise digital transformation plans that incorporate biometric technology. To help bring biometrics to the workplace, solution providers can complement the Zero Trust architecture by adopting a ‘privacy by design’ approach.

By using the on-device approach, whereby biometric data is captured, securely stored, matched and authenticated within the device, the need for a centralized database or any cloud involvement disappears. This supports enterprise digital transformation in two ways. Firstly, it reveals uses’ fears that their data will be stored in hackable cloud databases. Secondly, by avoiding a centralized database, a significant enterprise management and financial burden is removed, supporting the commercial viability of PC biometrics in a digital transformation strategy.

Driving digital transformation

Organizations face a difficult balancing act with digital transformation as they aim to protect employees and their digital spaces while drive productivity. Integrating biometrics into the workflow through PCs is a golden opportunity and could be a significant step in achieving a workable Zero Trust posture against growing cyber security threats.

To support change in this area, biometric solution providers and PC makers can prioritize quality to tackle myths and misconceptions around reliability, security and privacy. A useful starting point is capitalizing on the years of innovation to evolve biometrics for PCs to become a familiar, trusted authentication tool in the same way it has become for smartphones.

Fingerprint Cards signs contract for touchless solution with Mantra Softech

Fingerprint Cards collaborates with Infineon

Biometrics company Fingerprint Cards AB has enabled biometric authentication to be executed entirely within Infineon’s Secure Element, making it cheaper and easier for card manufacturers to develop and roll out biometric payment cards at scale. While many industry experts believed this to be a milestone out of reach, this technological leap has been achieved while maintaining biometric performance and increasing security.

Fingerprints collaborated with Infineon Technologies AG, the world leader in security controllers for contactless payments to demonstrate the capabilities of the new software. The partners combined Infineon’s 40nm security controller (SLC38) with Fingerprints T-Shape® (T2) sensor module and the latest biometric software for payments. This is particularly significant as almost one in two payment cards with a chip worldwide has an Infineon security controller at its core.

To achieve this, Fingerprints’ R&D team focused on reducing the memory footprint, flash and RAM requirements of its software to fit inside Infineon’s SLC38 Secure Element. All while maintaining transaction times and biometric performance*.

“We like a challenge and are always looking to optimize our technology. When we proposed this disruptive solution, and the industry said it could not be done, we got to work,” comments Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments & Access at Fingerprints. “After months of development and drawing on years of experience and collaboration with Infineon, we have achieved this world first. But this is what we do. Our technology started in smartphones, we refined it for payment cards and now we have taken a big step further. Overall, though, this brings more options to our card manufacturing partners. Each roll-out is different, so now they can choose what alternative to deploy to bring fast, frictionless and hygienic in-store payments to even more consumers.”

“Multi-interface security controller SLC38BML with best-in-class RF performance and computation power allows a full on card fingerprint authentication in combination with Fingerprints’ sensor without integration of an extra microcontroller. This substantially reduces system development and manufacturing complexity alongside lowering material costs for biometric smart cards,” adds Tolgahan Yildiz, VP & Head of Product Line Payment and Ticketing Solutions at Infineon. “In collaboration with Fingerprints, we are working to enable high performance payment solutions with biometric smart cards that are easy to integrate and scalable.”

ekey chooses Fingerprints for smart door

ekey chooses Fingerprints for smart door

ekey, an Austrian leading biometrics door access company has launched a new intelligent door access system, named ekey dLine, that ensures safety and convenience. The ekey dLine system integrates a touch sensor from Fingerprints and can be unlocked using fingerprint biometrics for the door handle and door leaf in smart homes.

The seamless ekey dLine solution offers keyless entry, convenient remote opening, automatic remote opening and more. The solution is available for the European market.

“With the ekey dLine, we are proud to be providing an intelligent access control system that meets the wishes of tomorrow’s customers today, combining high-performing sensors in European quality from Fingerprints with our smart product design.” – Raphaela Gallner, Managing Director ekey biometric systems

The entire system is managed and controlled via an app on the smartphone or tablet.

FPC seals biometric payment card partnership in India

FPC seals biometric payment card partnership in India

Swedish biometrics company, Fingerprint Cards  and Seshaasai, a smart card manufacturer in India with a commanding APAC presence, have entered into an agreement to develop, launch, market, and sell contactless biometric payment cards in India and APAC. The card will feature Fingerprints’ T-Shape® module and software platform, which has ultra-low power consumption and is tailored to be integrated in payment cards using standard automated manufacturing processes.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Seshaasai, being a leading and award-winning card manufacturer, and one of the best tech brands in the BFSI space in India. This collaboration will bring consumers in India a more secure, safe and easy payment experience”, says Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments & Access at Fingerprints.

India had 25.5 billion real time payment transactions in 2020, more than any other country in the world, and digital payment is estimated to account for 71 percent of overall payment volumes by 2025. According to the Reserve Bank of India there were 906 million debit cards and 62 million credit cards in circulation in June 2021. Contactless and digital payments are growing fast in India, as consumers are choosing touch-free, safe and seamless ways to pay. Adding biometrics to the contactless payment card will increase the security needed to remove the cap, currently at Rs 5,000 (approx. €57), completely and allow for hygienic and worriless contactless payments for all transactions.

“We selected Fingerprints’ biometric solution as they have the leading technology in the market. It offers proven biometric performance and the lowest power consumption, features which are of the highest importance for contactless biometric cards. Introducing biometric payment cards offers great benefits for banks, merchants and consumers alike, as contactless payments in India and APAC continue to grow quickly, especially in the post-covid world“, says Pragnyat Lalwani, Founder Director, Seshaasai.

Op-ed: Why Latin America chose biometric authentication for payment cards

Op-ed: Why Latin America chose biometric authentication for payment cards

By Gilles P. Roux, Head of Payments Business Americas at Fingerprints 

In June 2021, BBVA Mexico became the first bank in Latin America to announce the rollout of biometric payment cards. Following launches in card-loving France and Switzerland, the world has been favorably surprised to see Mexico as next to launch.

But think again. Latin America has made itself known in the fintech world. In recent years, it became one of the world’s most active regions for the industry, with over half a billion US dollars raised for fintech start-ups in the first half of 2020.

Now, the whole region has strong ambitions to continue this momentum in payments and fintech innovation, moving from a cash-first ecosystem towards a new chapter for banking and payments.

Evolving a legacy

Latin America has historically seen relatively high unbanked or underbanked populations. For example, the estimated unbanked individuals in Mexico and Brazil are 42 and 34 million respectively, that is a staggering 32% and 16% of the overall population.

However, the past few years have seen significant and rapid change. The proportion of unbanked citizens in Costa Rica dropped eight percent between 2019 and 2020. Argentina’s fell by eight percent, Colombia 18% and Brazil an astonishing 73%.    

Many put this down to the fintech revolution. It is establishing a smarter payment ecosystem and the region’s banking sector is offering the latest innovations and experiences to customers to establish new levels of trust.  

Take Mexico, where openings of digital wallets and patronage of neo banks have grown by 30%, while electronic transactions such as bill payments and money transfers have soared by 80%. In July 2021, the number of digital bank accounts in Brazil topped 200 million, and according to the Bank of America, May saw 21 million Brazilian banking apps and digital wallets downloaded. In Colombia, according to BBVA Research, the number of mobile banking users is expected to increase by 721%, to 15.6m, in the decade to 2025, up from 1.9m in 2015.

And Latin America shows no sign of slowing down.  

Catching up with contactless

As the region’s banking sector serves previously unbanked citizens and payments technologies proliferate, the cash-first economy is eroding. In Brazil, the use of payment cards grew 8.2% in 2020, topping two trillion transactions.

Much like the rest of the world, Latin America consumers are migrating away from cash and PIN pads towards contactless, attracted by the frictionless and hygienic payment experience. Brazil saw a remarkable 469.6% growth in contactless payment value between 2019-20 as a consequence.

According to Mastercard, 80% of card issuers across Latin America now offer contactless cards, and 84% of the region’s consumers believe they are a cleaner way to pay. Also, 79% of consumers felt contactless payment cards were more secure than cash, and similar numbers plan to keep using them for the foreseeable future.

Despite the strong growth in contactless, consumers are concerned about the risk of fraud if their cards are lost or stolen, and many are still confused about varying payment limits at the POS. 

Touch, tap, trust – building confidence with biometrics 

Over the past few years, Latin America’s central banks have developed policies to support increased financial inclusion. One priority: ensuring consumers experience the benefits of payment innovation. 

Given the high proportion of previously unbanked consumers, establishing trust and confidence will be key factors in maintaining momentum behind the evolving fintech and payment sector in the region. Biometrics has a role to play. In many countries of Latin America, consumers have already been using biometrics for decades to authenticate themselves; for social security, ID, driving license, accessing workspace and registering work time. Educating consumers on the role biometrics has to play for secure and convenient payments experience, highlighting that their data stays in their control, will bring reassurance and confidence. And when more consumers experience the same convenience of contactless paired with advanced security level, demand and adoption will follow.

Supporting new era in banking and payments

The launch of biometric payment cards in Mexico with BBVA reflects the region’s ambitions to continue its progress towards smarter payments and embrace cashless opportunities.

Biometric cards present significant opportunities for consumers, banks and merchants, enabling the next generation of convenient, secure and hygienic in-store purchases. As the region aspires to maintain momentum, biometric payment cards can be a powerful asset in the decision maker’s toolbox, and it would be no surprise that BBVA Mexico is the first in a long list of Latin American banks offering this stunning innovation to their customers.

To learn more about the global potential for biometric payment cards, visit our web page or check out our regional infographics.

 

Fingerprints PC solution integrated in Dell laptops

Fingerprints PC solution integrated in Dell laptops

Fingerprint Cards today announced that the company’s new biometric solution for the PC market is integrated in the power button of the Latitude 5000 and 7000 Series of laptops from Dell.

Thus far, Fingerprints has been awarded design wins with three of the world’s top five PC manufacturers. Consequently, the company expects to be able to announce further PC models in the near future, which feature Fingerprints’ new biometric PC solution.

“This product launch by Dell confirms the positive trend in demand for biometric authentication in consumer and enterprise PCs. Fingerprints is poised for continued growth in this segment, providing the perfect way to add convenient and secure authentication to PCs,” comments Ted Hansson, Senior VP Business Line Mobile at Fingerprints.

Fingerprints’ new solution for PCs interfaces with Windows Hello and is compliant with Microsoft Enhanced Sign-in (SecureBio), meeting both the biometrics and security requirements of Microsoft. It can be used in combination with a broad range of Fingerprints’ touch sensors, and its software is compatible with the Windows 10 operating system. The solution is tailored for use across a growing number of different form factors and use cases, including notebooks, 2-in-1 convertibles, and PC accessories. Fingerprints’ portfolio of compatible touch sensors is available in various shapes, coatings and customizable colors to support different designs and placements.

 

Guest Post: Vive la France for cashless opportunities

Guest Post: Vive la France for cashless opportunities

By Roger Carrico, Head of Payment Business at Fingerprints 

Across the world, consumers are migrating away from cash and PIN pads, with contactless rapidly becoming the de facto method for most in-store payments.  Providing a frictionless, contactless experience is a powerful pull factor for consumers when it comes to in-store payments. 50% of card payments are made using contactless, and usage has risen sharply since 2020. 

With consumers drawn to the hygiene and convenience of contactless, biometric payment cards are the next logical evolution of how we pay in-store. The same ‘tap to pay’ experience, just with added security. As the technology advances towards the global mass market, French consumers like me have been the first to realize its benefits.  

France – a global hotspot in the payments ecosystem

France holds a proud position within Europe’s renowned payments and card technology heritage, spearheading the first microchip and launching ‘la carte à puce’ – the smart card – in 1976 and contactless payment cards ten years ago. Fast forward three decades and the National Payment Strategy fosters a strong culture of innovation and competition, guaranteeing that French consumers have access to the best the sector has to offer.

Today, this innovative ecosystem now encompasses digital payments and cashless opportunities. Cultivated by a strong sense of collaboration – both domestically and internationally – these opportunities were discussed during our recent Lunch & Learn Webinar, which brought together industry thought leaders from the likes of Banque de France, Cartes Bancaires, Thales, FrejaID Finance Innovation, Findec and Business Sweden; to discuss the latest payment trends, digital ID, digital currencies and technologies like biometrics that are enabling the future of payments. 

Vive les Cartes! French consumers love contactless 

A feature of our rich payments heritage is that French consumers are highly receptive when adopting emerging payment technologies. Convenience is a top priority for payments technologies – our survey from 2020 found that over 80% of French consumers rank the contactless payment card as easy to use. Along with the UK, France was the first nation to roll out contactless payment cards. In-store payments remain very ‘card first’ here too. Payment cards account for 83% of transactions, 60% of which are contactless, significantly above the global average of 73% and 50%.

Around the world, contactless payments spiked in the wake of the pandemic, but this was especially true in France, which saw a staggering 216% growth when we asked consumers what method they normally use when paying in store. Indicators suggest this is not a short-term boom either – 64% of French consumers expect to use contactless more than they do today or wherever possible in future.

However, despite this strong affinity, French consumers share the common worries and frustrations that other strong contactless markets do. 52% are worried about contactless fraud if their cards are lost or stolen, and with limits now at 50€, these fears will only intensify. Contactless payment limits are also another source of anxiety. One in five French consumers are still confused about what the limit is, while 20% feel the limit is too low. Even though limits are rising or have risen in many nations, often it is still not enough for a family’s grocery shop for example, forcing PIN entry. Plus, with the introduction of Europe’s Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) mandates, the need for PIN entry rises further – either with every five transactions or once spending exceeds 150€. With 1 in 3 consumers feeling concerned to touch PIN-pads due to the risk of getting infected, this is certainly an unwelcome user-experience. 

These worries mean consumers need a card payment solution that enhances security without sacrificing convenience, a point highlighted by Fingerprints’ SVP of Corporate Strategy, Charles Burgeat, during the webinar. Biometric payment cards, he argued, are the next generation of contactless. Contactless 2.0. And, in keeping with our heritage, the French payments ecosystem is once again an early adopter. 

Making contactless limitless 

By adding strong authentication to the ‘tap’, consumers can benefit from contactless without being worried about fraud, or confused and frustrated with contactless limits.  

51% of French consumers want a biometric payment card. Meanwhile over half of those would even switch banks to get one, highlighting the era of a ‘bank for life’ coming to an end. In France, consumers want biometric payment cards so much, we are even willing to pay – 50% compared to the global average of 43%. For example, I currently pay just 2€ a month extra for my biometric card –the price of a baguette or a cup of coffee. A small price to pay for the convenience and reassurance it brings! 

Embracing the benefits biometrics provide to customers and capitalizing on the brand and commercial opportunities they present, French banks have taken the initiative and started to roll out biometric payment cards. Early this year, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole announced commercial launches of biometric payment cards following successful trial periods with Fingerprints’ technology. As a user of one of these cards, I’m hugely impressed with the user experience of my day-to-day purchases.  

Today France – tomorrow the world

Across the world, consumers remain concerned about safety, security, and the overall convenience of their in-store payments, so it is imperative biometric payment cards reach mass market. Accelerating this process are vital certification milestones aligned with the rigorous standards demanded by the international payments industry. Underpinning the roadmap to mass market are strategic collaborations with industry stakeholders that are already lowering costs and simplifying the manufacturing process.

Alongside the existing commercial launches, over 20 market pilots have been conducted across the world. What has started here is just the beginning, and soon, more consumers around the world will experience the next generation of convenient, secure and hygienic payments through biometrics.

To learn more about French consumer instore payment and appetite for biometric payment cards, download our infographic. 

 

Fingerprint Cards wins order for T-Shape sensor

Fingerprint Cards wins order for T-Shape sensor

Biometrics company, Fingerprint Cards has secured an additional volume order for approximately 250,000 units of T-Shape sensor modules from one of the world’s top three card manufacturers.

The first commercial launches of biometric payment cards are ongoing, all of them integrating Fingerprints’ technology, and this new order indicates that the market roll-out will continue and accelerate.

The pandemic has led to a sharp increase in consumers’ use of contactless payments. Biometric payment cards are emerging as the next innovation in this area, enabling a ‘touch-free’ and seamless payment experience, regardless of the amount.

“Fingerprint sensors for biometric payment cards represent a very large potential market for biometrics, and this order manifests our leading position within this growing market and the strength of Fingerprints’ solution. Together with our partners, we are enabling banks to remove the payment cap and bring consumers the trust and experience needed for contactless payments”, says Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments & Access at Fingerprints.

Fingerprint Cards initiates strategic review

Fingerprint Cards initiates strategic review

Fingerprint Cards announces that its board of directors has decided to conduct a review of strategic alternatives for Fingerprints with the purpose of evaluating and creating the best route to crystalize value for shareholders.”During the past years, Fingerprints has developed positively with an improved market position, stronger customer offering in Mobile and developing new significant market opportunities in Payments & Access. The board sees good opportunities to continue the development of the company for the long term, and in order to accelerate this development and maximize the future potential of the company, a strategic review should be conducted”, Fingerprints’ chairman Johan Carlström says in a comment.”We are reviewing different alternatives, which could range from acquisitions, to spin-offs, sales and new listings”, Carlström comments further. “There has been considerable interest for Fingerprints from a number of different players, which has triggered the review process”, he says.Fingerprints announced in April of this year a re-organization and clearer separation of its two individual business lines, Mobile and Payments & Access, in order to drive efficiencies and enhance value to customers further. This strategic review continues to build on this effective work.The board of directors has engaged Jefferies International Limited and Carnegie Investment Bank as financial advisors and Hannes Snellman as legal advisor in connection with the review.There is currently no certainty that this strategic review will result in any material event for the company. Should the review result in a material event, information will be disclosed in due course.