5 Biometric Sensor Card Technology Implementation Roadblocks

Fingerprint being scanned

Biometric Payment Card Market Growth

The payment cards market is one of the standout growth areas within the smart card space. In the wake of softening growth in other primary smart card areas, most notably SIM cards, payment cards are continuing their upward growth trajectory.

The flexible fingerprint sensor has become synonymous with the payment cards market, but there is a quite popular misconception in play regarding the use of the biometric sensor card as a prominent payment technology. Such sensors are, in fact, a secure authentication technology with use case scenarios across a variety of end markets.

Combined with nearly ubiquitous uptake of the EMV standard globally, new banking clients, increasing wealth in developing nations, and the rise of new card form factors, such as innovative powered payment cards, the continued incorporation of biometric sensor technology will further stimulate the market over the next five years.

5 Implementation Roadblocks to Address

Despite the broad growth trajectory of the market, several key issues still remain and must be addressed before the biometric payment card market can move from the supply of a few individual units into the millions. These include: 

  1. Cost: Today, cost is one of the largest market barriers. With the average cost of biometric payment cards running between $10 and $15, prices must be reduced to enable scale and achieve the necessary cost-down model. 
  2. Manufacturing: Similar to the point above, the manufacturing process has a significant role to play in order to bring biometric payment cards down to a reasonable price point. In this instance, focus needs to be placed on the development of hot laminate processes; many vendors are still operating cold lamination procedures, which is not conducive to mass production.
  3. Innovation: Innovation within the payment cards space has clearly moved down the value chain to smaller, more agile players, particularly from a component’s perspective. However, this raises the question of how these smaller vendors can adopt the required and aggressive, cost-down strategy to bring the biometric payment card price down from the $10-15 mark today, towards the $5 mark, considered the average price point that will trigger significant volume requests from banks and financial institutions.
  4. Enrollment: Although remote enrollment is considered the best way forward, further work on optimal packaging and enhanced enrollment reliability is still under development.
  5. Certification: No vendor has yet received the required commercial certification to deploy the biometric payment card on a mass scale; this will likely happen in late 2019.

Having a biometric payment card within a product portfolio is one thing, but without continued development as it relates to manufacturing processes, remote enrollment, and certification, the market cannot - and will not - move into the mainstream.

Image Credit: vchal

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