Norway-based biometrics company IDEX Biometrics has received the letter of approval (LOA) from China UnionPay for a new biometrics payment card incorporating its technology.

The new card will contain IDEX’s fingerprint sensor and distributed matcher technology.

It is expected to provide new card-based payment capabilities and cater to the needs of personalised and diversified payment use cases.

IDEX Biometrics CEO Vince Graziani said: “China UnionPay is the largest payment network in the world, supporting more than half of all cards issued on the global brand networks.

“This LOA is a critical step to driving mass adoption in China. IDEX and our partners are now approved for deployment in the world’s largest market for payment cards.”

The LOA from UnionPay provides worldwide interoperability with ATMs and point of sale (POS) terminals along with security assurance.

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It also means that UnionPay has formally acknowledged that a product or service is compliant with all necessary requirements.

This marks the first biometric card certification issued by UnionPay.

Explaining the importance of the LOA, ABI Research digital security research director Phil Sealy said: “The importance of certification and LOA cannot be overstated.

“This is a significant market milestone, not just in terms of application security and performance requirements, but the fact that certification and LOA must be met in order for the biometric card to move into the mass market issuance phase.”