SmartMetric, a US-based start-up technology firm, claims
it is in talks with Brazilian banks to issue a biometric EMV
smart card product.
The little-known company, which is listed on the New York Stock
Exchange and valued at around $7 million, says it is considering
opening up a Latin American manufacturing facility for its products
as a result.
The company claims its biometric EMV-compliant product is
smaller and lighter than a credit card but can be used as a point
of sale payment device. Transactions on the smart card are
authenticated by a fingerprint reader embedded in the card itself,
rather than the more traditional chip and PIN entry.
CEO Colin Hendrick said strong growth in EMV cards in both
Mexico and Brazil suggested they were both potential markets for
biometric products, which he said were more secure than chip
Brazil has issued around 341 million EMV/chip cards in 2008,
with a forecast of 145 million to be issued in 2009. Mexico had
issued 82 million EMV/chip cards in 2008, with a forecast of 17
million for 2009, according to research from the Smart Card
In March, SmartMetric filed a patent infringement lawsuit
against Visa and MasterCard. It claims they violated its patent
relating to “the use of a data card and an automatic connection to
a network”. SmartMetric was not immediately available to