Kim Humborstad, Founder, Zwipe
It’s definitely evident that there is a large amount of interest in biometric smart cards. Can you tell us about your unique technology and the growth in the smart card area?
At Zwipe our focus is making biometrics easy. We are technology company that has developed a unique solution that combines the security of biometrics with the convenience of contactless. Our solution is the first commercially available dual-interface fingerprint activated payment card that functions independent of a battery or fixed power supply as it harvests all the power it needs through NFC from traditional point of sale devices.
A few years ago this market didn’t really seem to exist. What has been the trickiest part of entering the commercialisation phase for Zwipe?
We managed to succeed in developing a unique power harvesting solution that others have tried to do in the past and failed. That was complex, however not as complex as developing the important industry partnerships that have paved the way for this type of technology to enter the payments ecosystem. It all comes down to the essential needs and expectations of consumers. The banks, card brands and other leading players within payments are seeing the convenience first hand and are responding accordingly. The market is poised for massive growth as a result of this.
You recently announced a partnership with Chatsworth Products. How important are partnerships in evaluating the benefits of Zwipe Access?
Partnerships are key as the market is growing and working with industry leading partners, such as Chatsworth Products is core to seeing volume deployment of our technology. Especially in a more traditional ecosystem like Access Control and ID where you tend to have long-standing legacy relationships between integrators, security solutions providers and end customers.
How do you see the biometric smart card market developing in the next 5 years?
We believe we are very close to seeing a tipping point. There has been an influx of competition entering the marketplace and there are many validating efforts already under way seeking to prove the functionality of the technology. The market is proving that consumers are ready for this and 2018 is just the start. By 2022, in my humble opinion, I think consumers will look at biometric smart cards much like I look at my regular contactless enabled EMV Card today. The fundamental economics behind this market are supporting mass volume deployment and that is why I think the outlook in five years is very positive.
Can a solution like Zwipe ID completely wipe out payment fraud at retail for instance?
Our technology completely changes the Risk vs. Reward equation. There will always be some form of fraud, the numbers are going down considerably as new security efforts are introduced such as EMV, however there is still fraud. The changing dynamics of what you get from committing fraud is a driver behind the eventual elimination of fraud. With our solution, since it does not require an external database to function, operating solely on the users card or smart device, the reward then becomes just one card, not an entire database of thousands upon millions of users or accounts.
2017 will be Zwipe’s first visit to FinTech Connect Live as an event partner. As the UK’s largest fintech exhibition, what will be the core message you would like to communicate to our audience at FinTech Connect Live and what aspects of the event made it a must-attend for you this year?
We are a true Fintech company and that is why we wanted to come to Fintech Connect Live. Meeting with stakeholders across the payments ecosystem in the UK and Europe is a must for us we look to show your guests and the community as a whole how our unique technology addresses convenience and security simultaneously.
Biometrics have been perceived as something cumbersome and negative in the past and we look to change that. Our message to all visitors is that the future of payment is here, and it is you and Zwipe can show you how we make biometrics easy.