All last month, Mobile ID World put a spotlight on one of the most exciting areas of mobile identity: biometric smart cards. The fundamental technology – fingerprint-scanning cards – has been around for years now. But technological refinements and breakthroughs, together with escalating and recent trends in the converged security and financial services sectors, have led to a heightened profile for biometric smart cards in access control, and considerable hype over emerging biometric payment cards.
How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going
Our first feature for Biometric Smart Cards Month took a closer look at these trends, offering an overview of what brought the biometric smart cards industry to today’s inflection point. This includes an account of how the access control industry has increasingly embraced biometrics in recent years; the explosion of biometric authentication in the mobile sector, and the subsequent flood of competition into that market; and the emergence of contactless payment cards, which have delivered great convenience along with new security risks. Learn how all of these trends have converged to create what appears to be a tipping point for the biometric smart card concept.
The Payment Cards Puzzle is Solved
The next entry in our series of in-depth features delved into the key technologies in play in the world of biometric smart cards. These include flexible sensors that can be incorporated into a traditional payment card form factor; Secure Elements in microprocessors that are designed to keep end users’ biometric data safe; and the latest piece of the technological puzzle: do-it-yourself enrollment kits that allow consumers to register their biometrics on new payment cards from the comfort of home. These technological components are critical to today’s biometric smart cards and to biometric payment cards in particular, paving the way for anticipated mass adoption.
A Timeline of Major Developments
While our first two features for Biometric Smart Cards Month sought to arrange the complex industry into key narratives, our third feature embraced the whole complex of the industry. It’s a timeline of the key events and developments of the biometric smart cards sector over the past several years, citing specific companies, partnerships, technologies, pilots, and more. Taken as a whole, the timeline offers an illustration of all the key players in the biometric smart cards industry, and an indication of just how significantly activity in this space has amped-up in recent years, particularly with an eye to large-scale rollouts of biometric payment cards expected to commence next year.
ID Talk with IDEX’s David Orme
Biometric Smart Cards Month hasn’t just delivered in-depth coverage in the form of articles – on the ID Talk Podcast, Mobile ID World also had the opportunity to speak with IDEX Biometrics Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Orme. As our feature articles have previously illustrated, IDEX is one of the major players involved in this area and in biometric payment cards in particular, and Orme brought considerable expertise to the conversation, starting with a discussion about the wide range of use cases for biometric cards, and moving on to findings from a new IDEX report on misconceptions about this kind of technology. And they end the discussion on an appropriately optimistic note about what’s in store for biometric payment cards in the near future.
At the end of Biometric Smart Cards Month, it’s pretty clear that this is an industry that has picked up some serious momentum in recent years, and that it’s unlikely to slow down anytime soon. The commercialization stage hasn’t even started, and it’s fair to expect some huge announcements in the pipeline over the course of the next year and beyond – so stay tuned to Mobile ID World as we continue to deliver the biggest biometric smart card news alongside ongoing in-depth analysis.
Biometric Smart Cards Month is made possible by our sponsor IDEX Biometrics.