CEO’s Bi-Annual Update
It has been nine months since Vince Graziani joined IDEX Biometrics as CEO just as lockdowns were happening across the globe. Read on to get Vince’s overview on his first few quarters.
I joined IDEX Biometrics on the 27th February and by the 16th March I had to tell the team to stop travelling and start working from home. Clearly this is not my standard approach when joining a new firm! But I’m incredibly appreciative of how the whole IDEX team transitioned seamlessly, and how the pandemic has forced us to find new ways of delivering.
As a result of the whole team’s collaborative spirit, there have not been any significant delays in development projects and we’ve not incurred additional costs due to the pandemic. I’ve learnt that at IDEX, we encourage ingenuity and for everyone to approach things in clever, original and inventive ways. We proved we do this even in the most testing of times!
While my first nine months have definitely been challenging, I’m incredibly proud that we’ve continued to grow the business. We’ve seen some remarkable achievements since I joined, some of the highlights include:
- Two of the world’s most famous payments networks certified our technology: China UnionPay and another global player. These networks, combined, issue around 70% of global branded payment cards. We’re also talking to several other payment networks who are seeing that biometric payment cards are the future
- IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity and a global payment card manufacturer, selected our recently launched TrustedBio™ fingerprint sensors and biometric solutions for its next-generation biometric payment card offering
- Zwipe, a leading fintech, selected our fingerprint sensors to be integrated with their Pay ONE platform, creating a complete system solution that card manufacturers can use to mass-produce biometric payment cards
- Ubivelox, the global smart card and software manufacturer, selected our TrustedBio family of products for their biometric payment cards to service their extensive customer base, particularly Mastercard and Visa card issuers, across the Asia Pacific region
- In September we received volume production orders for our TrustedBio fingerprint sensors and biometric solutions from a Tier 1 card manufacturer
- In October we received further volume production orders, for both our current and future generation, TrustedBio, fingerprint sensors and biometric solutions from multiple customers including DWA, Hengbao and Zwipe
- From a financial perspective we executed a successful Private Placement in early November and we also announced our intention to list American Depository Shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market
- Tom Quindlen, Executive Vice President & CEO for Retail Card at Synchrony, joined the IDEX board. Tom has extensive knowledge and experience of the payment card industry so will really help guide the strategic direction of our company.
Some of the great brands, in addition to the ones I’ve talked about above, that we’re lucky to work with include Feitian Technologies, Goldpac Group, Infineon and Mastercard. I’m seeing for myself that IDEX has great relationships with an impressive list of customers and partners within the ecosystem.
To deliver on our objective of bringing biometric payment cards to the masses, our strategy continues to be on identifying and collaborating with all members of the payment card ecosystem including payment networks, card manufacturers and card issuers. Through co-development with the biggest players in the ecosystem, we’re able to offer market-ready biometric solutions to any smart card and device manufacturer around the globe.
One area where we’ve made great strides in the last few months is in building a broad portfolio of Secure Element (SE) partners. Today, we have the largest portfolio of SE partnerships in the industry including HED, Infineon, TMC, IDEMIA/Zwipe and Fudan. This approach enables smart card manufacturers to use their current SE technology investments rather than us forcing an SE partner on them. Ensuring flexible and broad SE support is critical to enable the rapid manufacturer of biometric cards.
Our partner Zwipe has been in the news a lot in recent months. The combination of Zwipe’s Pay ONE platform and our next-generation, TrustedBio, sensor delivers a market-leading solution for both card makers and banks who want a proven solution and fast time to market. Zwipe has made several announcements in the last few months in regard to the platform including Publicenter, Italy’s largest domestic smart card manufacturer and with Thomas Greg and Sons do Brasil (TGS), one of the largest smart card manufacturers in Latin America. Just last week Zwipe announced a pilot with OP Financial Group, Finland’s largest financial services group. Let’s be clear every sale of the Pay ONE platform includes IDEX’s fingerprint sensor and related technologies.
As a team we’re incredibly excited by the very high levels of interest and demand – interestingly from a much broader base of potential partners and customers – for our next generation of fingerprint sensors and biometric solutions, TrustedBio. We strongly believe this family of sensors and solutions are a game changer for the fingerprint biometric industry. TrustedBio sensors and solutions are being selected by multiple card and device manufacturers around the globe as they offer both compelling cost and performance benefits.
While I’ve not been able to meet people face-to-face, Zoom, Teams, Webex and other video conference solutions have become a way of life. I speak regularly to key contacts at all our customer and partners and I’ve been listening to what they need from us and what their own customers, such as the card issuers, are looking for. The hot topic is clearly that consumers are more motivated to go cashless than ever before. Several prominent US retailers that I’ve been speaking with said they have seen a 150% increase in the use of contactless payments each month since the pandemic began, which is amazing considering the initial scepticism contactless was greeted with by Americans. No matter which geography, Asia, Europe or the Americas, retailers and consumers alike are driving demand for a secure and touch-free payment experience that is enabled by contactless biometric payment cards.
I feel strongly that IDEX is in the position to meet this demand. We have the right products and solutions, strong and broad partnerships, the essential certifications and now volume orders.
From my discussions with analysts, customers, investors and partners it is clear the biometric fingerprint industry must pull together. With billions of cards shipped every year, this will become a battle for market share. May the best solution win. I’m confident that I’ve joined the winning team at the right time.
In closing, can I just take this opportunity to wish all readers “Best Wishes for the Holidays and Health and Happiness Throughout the Coming Year”