French security and identity solutions provider IDEMIA and Norwegian biometric technology company Zwipe have joined forces to bring new biometric payments card platform to the market.

Under the agreement, the two companies will co-invest in the development of a new biometric payment card platform.

The partners aim to develop a technology solution that will considerably slash the complexity and cost of the design and production process for biometric payment cards.

They will use the technology to support mass production of biometric payment cards, which will eventually benefit both the issuers and users of cards.

IDEMIA and Zwipe said that they will look to significantly reduce the number of components, integrating in a single chip the functions.

These functions previously required a Secure Element, a Microcontroller, and around 30 external components, that are mounted on a flexible PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

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IDEMIA executive vice-president for financial institutions Amanda Gourbault said: “This is a strategic, high profile project for IDEMIA. We are very excited about what this platform will enable in terms of market growth and the penetration of biometric payment cards.”

“IDEMIA is delighted to partner with Zwipe, a company with a solid intellectual property portfolio and an expanding global customer network; we are confident that our new solution will command a leading position in the marketplace.”

Under the agreement, Zwipe has the rights to distribute the solution to the payment cards manufacturers, wearables and other payment solutions and suppliers.

The platform is expected to be available in the second half of next year.

IDEMIA will own the technology and can sell F.CODE to its customers from financial institutions.

Zwipe CEO André Løvestam said: “The platform represents a technological leap that will serve as a catalyst to enable full biometric payment card costs to come down significantly, driving mass volume market growth and complementing our current and future product portfolios.”

In April this year, Zwipe selected Fingerprint’s T-shaped sensor for the latest version of its biometric payment card.

In March, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) selected IDEMIA to roll out its first metal payment card.