IDEX Biometrics Works to Advance Biometric Payment Cards - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

IDEX Biometrics ASA, a Norway-based provider of advanced fingerprint identification and authentication solutions, announced last month that the company entered into a strategic engagement with a US-based global payment network scheme in order to actively engage with card issuers. This is the third payment network to partner with IDEX in an effort to advance the adoption of biometric payment cards.

Unique Fingerprint Technologies

Ultimately, IDEX’s goal through its various strategic partnerships with payment networks, card manufacturers and card issuers is to offer its biometric solutions to card manufacturers worldwide and bring biometric payment cards to the mass market. In particular, IDEX specializes in biometric finger sensors and modules.

IDEX is one of only two suppliers to offer off-chip capacitive fingerprint sensors. These sensors are bendable, low power consumption and can be used in dual interface, contactless only and contact only smart cards. Uniquely, the company pairs the use of these sensors with the preferred ridge matching biometric algorithm. 

The combination of these technologies allows for the off-chip capacitive sensors to separate the fingerprint sensing elements from the chip that acquires the image and processes the biometric data. This ensures secure data storage and higher image fidelity and noise immunity, two important criteria for successful real world applicability.

On top of IDEX’s fingerprint sensor product, the company also offers a biometric finger module. As an end-to-end biometric solution, the module includes the tools needed to develop, prototype and manufacture a product’s biometric interface, helping to ease the integration of IDEX’s products into various payment cards. Specifically, the company combines its off-chip capacitive fingerprint sensors, which are already equipped with an image capture ASIC, with an MCU for post-processing and power management circuitry.

Adopting Biometric Smart Cards

One of the biggest industry concerns for the widespread adoption of biometric smart cards for payments is the possibility of tampering or external interference during the enrollment and data collection processes for card users, especially if a remote enrollment process were to be implemented. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding a secure remote enrollment solution has only become even more pertinent.

This is why IDEX has also developed an on-card enrollment solution that allows for users to enroll themselves without having to visit a bank branch, all through the use of a special enrollment device. The process takes place entirely inside the smart card using its standard secure EMV® chip without the need to connect the enrollment device or smart card to a computer, smartphone or any other connected device.

The IDEX Enrollment Device was designed to be simple and user friendly to make enrollment quick and easy for new users.

The IDEX Enrollment Device was designed to be simple and user friendly to make enrollment quick and easy for new users.

As shown above, the IDEX enrollment device is a slim, lightweight sleeve-like product that includes guided visualizations on how to complete the enrollment process. Once completing the enrollment process, which takes about one minute, the device can be discarded without concern, as enrollment takes place on the smart card.

Therefore, with IDEX’s On-Card Enrollment solution, there is no possibility of any tampering or external interference during the enrollment process. Furthermore, there is no need for the card supplier to support a multitude of mobile phone or desktop apps to support a graphical user interface. With this user-friendly design, IDEX hopes to further aid and promote the adoption of biometric smart cards.

The new partnership between IDEX Biometrics and a third global payment network scheme is just another step forward to reaching a future where biometric payment cards are standard.

“We are very pleased that yet another key member of the payment card ecosystem, this time a global payment network and card issuer, has made a strong commitment to our vision and mission,” says Vince Graziani, CEO of IDEX Biometrics. “This is another example of our fingerprint sensors and biometric solutions being the preferred option for companies that recognize biometric payment cards are the future.”


Serena He is a Tech Innovation Fellow from the University of Southern California who is interested in AI and the intersection of design and technology. She enjoys covering news across the digital identity and tech space.

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