The deployment of biometric payment cards in the Middle East and Africa is set to go up.
This is after Zwipe, a Norwegian biometric technology company announced its partnership with Abu Dhabi-based NymCard to launch biometric payment cards in the two regions.
Established in 2009, Zwipe focuses on developing and commercializing secure, fast and easy to use biometric authentication solutions with opportunity for broad application across key verticals like payment, access control and government identification.
NymCard on the other hand is focused on frictionless, transparent and agile card issuance and payments processing services, through a Banking-as-a-Service model.
According to Zwipe, the company uses APIs and modern technologies to carry out notably fast implementations.
NymCard customers include gig economy, buy now pay later, youth banking, and corporate expense card providers across the MEA region.
The company is further expanding into Asia and Europe.
“In our region, consumers, fintechs, and payment providers always seek more secure and user-friendly financial services,” said NymCard CEO and Founder Omar Onsi.
Omar further noted that they have now started seeing increasing interest in biometric payment cards as they combine world-class security with world-class convenience.
“Zwipe is a highly respected fintech in the biometric payments marketplace and Zwipe Pay ONE based cards will add considerable value for our customers in MEA,” he added.
The agreement between the two fintechs will see Zwipe provide commercialization support, expertise and technical guidance for NymCard’s integration of Zwipe Pay ONE biometric technology in cards which will be manufactured by Zwipe-certified partners in the region.
The new partners will begin working towards joint issuer deals this month.
We are very pleased to partner with Abu Dhabi based card issuing and processing platform @NymCard to accelerate the deployment of biometric payment cards in the Middle East and Africa. You can find the announcement here: https://t.co/CwHpObtg8P pic.twitter.com/2zGrb93Hbf
— Zwipe (@zwipe) September 13, 2021
According to Zwipe GM for EMEA Ramzi Saboury, the interest in adopting biometric payment cards is phenomenal in the Middle East and Africa.
“We are happy to partner with NymCard, a well-recognized Banking-as-a-Service provider for payment innovators and fintechs,”said Saboury.
Zwipe’s biometric payment platform supports contactless payments ensuring 100 percent touch-free and PIN-free transactions.
Saboury further noted that they are confident that this alliance will further accelerate the deployment of biometric payment cards.
Another Zwipe Middle East partner, Inkript, recently placed a commercial order for Zwipe Pay ONE, which was also selected by an unknown ‘Global Tier-1’ bank to run a biometric payment card pilot in Europe.
Biometric debit cards in Lybia
Idemia FCode fingerprint biometric cards have already been issued as debit cards by Libya’s Tadawul Group.
Reports indicate that the cards are already in use.
Libya’s government has also tapped Idemia’s digital identity expertise, with a deal last year to establish a biometrics-based digital ID amid the country’s rebuilding efforts.
The deal was struck last year for Idemia to assist the north African nation of Libya in putting in place a biometric digital identity system which will, among other things, enable the conflict-ridden country organise more credible and fraud-free elections in the future.
In July this year, Mauritius-based international card payment processor and personalization bureau ICPS partnered with Zwipe to supply biometric payment cards for banks across Africa and Asia.
Under the partnership, a complete package of Zwipe Pay ONE technologies, including the biometric contact plate module, passive inlay, fingerprint sensor, OS license and enrollment sleeves will be provided to ICPS.
The companies will also work together to promote the cards for ICPS’ issuers.
Those issuers include more than 30 clients based in 22 countries across Africa and Southeast Asia.
ICPS hosts over 6 million cards, and operates more than 600 ATMs and 11,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals, processing more than 10 million transactions each month on its platform.
Zwipe has been busily expanding its partner network in Africa and Asia, forming a partnership with Network International.