Last week we were bringing you mobile identity news straight from Mobile World Congress 2016, where Mobile ID World president Peter O’Neill was on the ground floor, sleuthing out the big biometric news from the mobile industry’s premier event. Outside of Barcelona, we saw more smartphone fingerprint sensor integrations, interesting smart card news, mobile wallet headlines, and more.
Here’s a look back on what has been the biggest week in mobile ID of 2016 so far:
FinTech at Mobile World Congress 2016
One of the key indications of how integral biometric technology is becoming in the mobile space is how prominently MasterCard and Visa have been positioning it in their MWC showings. On day one of the conference, Peter O’Neill caught a demonstration of Visa using iris biometrics and later attended a presentation of how the global payments network intends to innovate in the biometric commerce space thanks in large part to its new partnership with Morpho (Safran). MasterCard, meanwhile, gave O’Neill a personal demonstration of its biometric payment verification technology which will be launching this summer.
Not to be left out of all the mCommerce fun, PayPal announced at MWC that it will be supporting NFC technology, bringing it into stronger competition with its mPayment rivals. The payment service was notably the first to support biometric authorized payments on a smartphone two years ago at MWC 2014. Take a look at how far we’ve come since then:
As usual, Mobile World Congress kicked off with the launch of new flagship handsets from Samsung, this year’s being the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Each still offers built-in biometric fingerprint scanning, but this time the phones are waterproof, have expandable storage, and sport a much improved camera. Sony launched its new Xperia phones in Barcelona too, but perhaps more intriguing were the biometirc wearables it was showing off: the Xperia Ear and Xperia Eye.
Fingerprints, Face, and Iris
Fingerprint and iris technologies had a presence in Barcelona last week. Egis was out in full force with its authentication technologies, and NEXT Biometrics made a splash with its latest fingerprint module that features an embedded processor. IriTech’s iris recognition technology, meanwhile, was being demonstrated at the Heptagon booth in the form of UEYE, which combines tech from both companies.
Messaging app Mantu was at MWC as well, aiming at the enterprise market with what it calls military grade encryption and also facial recognition biometrics.
Security and Connectivity
Morpho wasn’t only at MWC for mPayments. Last week we saw the company partner with Avnet – Memec Silica to produce Internet of Things connectivity solutions, which were on display at the conference.
Fingerprint Cards (FPC) was at MWC in a number of capacities, among which smart cards played a big role. The sensor company has partnered with Zwipe to better attack this growing market of interest. NEXT Biometrics is also taking aim at the smart card market, and that message was reinforced with the release of the company’s Q4 2015 fiscal results.
Precise Biometrics meanwhile received another order for its Tactivo smart card readers from the US Department of Defense.
Here’s how we were talking about smart cards, both in and out of MWC, last week at Mobile ID World:
FPC was not confined just to Barcelona last week. The company made familiar headlines with a number of smartphone fingerprint sensor integrations, namely the Xiaomi Mi5, the Xiaomi Mi 4S, and LG’s new G5.
Mobile wallet news is coming in at a constant stream these days as the mPayment wars heat up. Last week Affinity Federal Credit Union added Android Pay and Samsung Pay to its list of supported mobile wallets, while Apple Pay and MasterCard brought back their free London transit fare promotion. Samsung Pay passed the five million user landmark last week too, while a new social media survey found that mobile payments are increasingly the topic of online conversation.
The FIDO Alliance welcomed Aitna to its board of directors last week, bringing a unique and much desired perspective on the healthcare market to the consortium. Meanwhile, GO-Trust made two headlines with its new technologies that support FIDO standards.
The Montgomery Summit
Finally, looking ahead to next week when the curtain is drawn on Mobile World Congress 2016, we have the Montgomery Summit where Credence ID CEO Bruce Hansen will be extolling the benefits of biometric technology to an audience of potential investors, having been invited to speak at the Santa Monica event.
Our MWC coverage isn’t over yet. Stick with Mobile ID World and our sister site FindBiometrics as we continue to unpack all the essential digital identity news that came out of Barcelona. Be sure to follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss a beat.