Hengbao, one of the biggest card companies based in China, covering the banking, telecoms and security sectors, has announced a partnership with IDEX Biometrics (IDEX ASA), the leading provider of advanced fingerprint identification and authentication solutions. The two companies have partnered to introduce contact based biometric smart cards across the Asian market, with future plans to trial dual-interface cards. Hengbao supports cards for multiple payment network specifications, including Mastercard, China Union Pay, VISA, and JCB.
According to market research company ABI Research, the total volume of shipped smart card for payments in 2017 was 1.3 billion cards. The annual volume is expected to increase to 1.8 billion cards by 2022.
Stan Swearingen, CEO of IDEX Biometrics comments, “This is one of the most significant technologies to enter the smart card market in the past 10 years and will make the common payment card exciting again. The increasing popularity of card payments in Asia, in conjunction with the growing preference towards biometrics, has created the perfect storm for this partnership with Hengbao, a very influential player in the Asian market.
Simon J Qian, CEO of Hengbao adds, “We are excited to take this first step for contact-based biometric smart payment cards with IDEX Biometrics in the Asian market and look forward to announcing trials in the near future. Not only will this be an industry first for the market, but it is the perfect solution to address growing consumer demand for greater authentication to facilitate card-based payments.”
Mr. Simoun Ung, President and CEO of OmniPay, a customer of Hengbao, remarked, “As an issuer of payment cards, our company prioritizes security above all. There is strong potential for this innovation to improve our product offering, especially those related to identification, government clearances and travel. We look forward to working with Hengbao and IDEX Biometrics to develop this technology into an industry standard and strengthen the authentication standards of the payment system.”