Infineon and IDEX develop biometric security technology for smart cards

Infineon and IDEX develop biometric security technology for smart cards

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The companies plan to develop a System-on-Card demonstrator running on Infineon’s latest 16-bit security controller. This has two interfaces and works both contactless and contact-based.

Biometric cards with simple fingerprint authentication as a second authentication factor are intended to prevent the misuse of payment cards and better. This applies to pure payment solutions as well as to card applications that combine payment with social benefits. In addition, fingerprint authentication is faster than entering a PIN; tap-and-go is to become even more convenient for the user.

The technical challenge with contactless biometric smart cards lies in power consumption. Infineon believes that its security controllers have an advantage here. They have an optimized performance profile for contactless smart cards that do not have a battery and have to make do with the energy from the magnetic field of the reader. In addition, the transaction rates are well below 300ms, so that the payment transaction with a biometric card can be carried out in less than a second.

Infineon is convinced that the combined expertise of Infineon and IDEX will enable it to define a reliable, high-performance biometric system. “Biometrics is the next innovation in contactless payment cards and offers banks and consumers additional security and convenience,” said Björn Scharfen, Head of Payment & Wearables at Infineon. Biometric data is stored on the security chip on the card and not in the cloud. They literally always remain in the hands of the user.

IDEX and Infineon are also committed to interoperability, which is critical to enabling large-scale biometric solutions. The two companies explore and document the most efficient way to integrate IDEX’s Host API into biometric systems with Infineon security controllers. This will accelerate the introduction of biometric cards with contactless and contact-based interfaces.

IDEX cooperates with leading companies in the industry. The company aims to develop an open, functional ecosystem for smart cards that are suitable for payment, corporate ID or access solutions.

Biometric methods are already widely used in mobile telephony. They are becoming more and more popular for smart card applications, whether for payment or user identification. The market research company ABI expects the market for biometric payment cards to grow strongly – from 4.5 million in 2019 to 120 million by 2023.


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