FAQs

What is our company mission?

Current methods of identification and authentication are insecure, inconvenient, time-consuming and impersonal. Whether it’s validating a payment, authorizing access to information, unlocking devices or giving admittance to buildings, PINs, passcodes, signatures, and keys are substandard. Our biometric identification and authentication technologies allow people to use fingerprints to prove their identity in a way that’s truly simple, secure and personal.

What is our company vision?

Our vision is to lead the charge in ridding the world of PINs, passcodes and keys. We want to put secure identification and authentication at everyone’s fingertips.

Who are our customers?

In the smart card market our economic buyers are the manufacturers of the cards and we are proud to work with some of the biggest names in the market including IDEMIA, Goldpac and a range of other major players. You can find out more here.

Which markets do we target?

IDEX Biometrics is a fingerprint sensor manufacturer focused on 5 key verticals, Payments, Identification, Access Control, Healthcare and IoT & Embedded Systems. You can find out more here.

What is the market potential in our target markets?

Biometrics Research Group Inc. estimates the global biometrics market will grow to US$55.5 billion by 2025 from its projected 2020 value of US$35.5 billion.

Goode Intelligence forecasts that almost 579 million biometric payment cards will be in use around the world by 2023 to enable frictionless customer authentication for higher-value contactless card transactions.

WiseGuyReports notes that the global market for biometric authentication and identification was valued at US$11.76 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow to US$25.31 billion by 2020 with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.56 percent.

What does our business model look like?

Our business model includes the design, development and sale or licensing of fingerprint sensor IP and related products. We typically are paid either a contracted price for each sensor and solution, a royalty on each device that incorporates our technology, or a combination of the two.

What benefits do our solutions offer to the biometric smart cards for Payments market?

There are multiple benefits for using biometric payment cards including reducing fraud, reducing cost, boosting accountability, delivering brand differentiation and delighting consumers. You can find out more here.

What benefits do our solutions offer to the biometrics smart cards for Identification market?

There are multiple benefits to biometric identification including eliminating impersonation, reducing fraudulent activity and providing proof of life. You can find out more here.

What benefits do our solutions offer to the biometric smart cards for Access Control market?

There are multiple benefits to biometric access control including ensuring only authorized personnel gain entry to restricted areas since the physical presence of the person is required for authentication. You can find out more here.

What benefits do our solutions offer to the biometric smart cards for Healthcare market?

There are multiple benefits to biometric identification and biometric authentication including streamlining security and driving efficiency in the identification, record keeping and retrieval of patient records. You can find out more here.

What benefits does our technology offer to the IoT & Embedded Systems market?

There are multiple benefits including making transactions quicker and more efficient, reducing fraud, reducing cost, boosting accountability, delivering brand differentiation and delighting consumers. You can find out more here.

Why don’t we target the mobile phones market?

Our fingerprint sensors and fingerprint sensor modules systems are applicable in any system or device which require authentication via a key, password or PIN. Our products are relevant across markets and verticals, including mobile. However, being a small company, we need to prioritize. Our current focus is on 5 key verticals, Payments, Identification, Access Control, Healthcare and IoT & Embedded Systems. You can find out more here.

What are the benefits to the Merchant of our biometric smart cards for payments?

Biometric fingerprint cards reduce barriers to payments. About half of card holders have abandoned an online purchase because they couldn’t remember their password. In the bricks and mortar world, a fingerprint cannot be forgotten.

Merchants also benefit as biometric fingerprint cards can be used at any EMV terminal, so no additional investment is required.

What are the benefits to the Issuers of our biometric smart cards for payments?

There are multiple benefits including reducing fraud, reducing cost, boosting accountability, delivering brand differentiation and delighting consumers. You can find out more here.

What are the benefits to the Payment Schemes of our biometric smart cards for payments?

There are multiple benefits including reducing fraud, reducing cost, boosting accountability, delivering brand differentiation and delighting consumers. You can find out more here.

Will the payment schemes be liable for fraudulent transactions?

Liability is handled in different regions differently and will not change with the emergence of biometrics cards. However, biometric smart cards will decrease overall payment fraud.

Why are a high number of false rejects not acceptable?

A high number of false rejects simply will not suffice when it comes to day-to-day consumer card usage. Failed matches when trying to authenticate a payment in store would not just prove inconvenient for consumers but could also cause significant delays for the retailer taking the payment. In an age where consumers have become accustomed to seamless payment processes – multiple failed attempts to match a fingerprint are not an option and could hinder the mass adoption of biometric fingerprint payment cards.

Will mobile payments displace cards?

Although mobile wallets have been around for years there is huge growth in the number of smart cards issued every year. Data also suggests that adoption of mobile wallets have been slow as consumers are very satisfied with using their cards. We expect card payments to be around for many years to come and that mobile payments and cards will coexist at the expense of cash.

Will other biometric modalities replace fingerprint sensors in cards?

When using a card, you naturally pinch it with your fingers, so fingerprint sensors are the natural biometric from a user perspective. Overall the card environment makes fingerprints ideal and due to size, cost, current consumption, etc. we don’t expect other biometrics to be embedded into cards.

Will a different PoS be required to use a biometric smart card for payments?

No, our solutions work with the current PoS infrastructure.

What is a biometric fingerprint sensor?

A biometric fingerprint sensor captures an image of the ridges and valleys that make up an individual’s fingerprint. Since a fingerprint is entirely unique to a certain person this image captured by the sensor is used to perform authentication with a biometric matching algorithm.

What is a capacitive fingerprint sensor?

Capacitive fingerprint sensors generate an image by measuring the changes in capacitance between the ridges and valleys that make up the fingerprint. This contrasts with a traditional optical sensor which uses reflected light to build an image of the fingerprint.

We are one of only two suppliers to offer off-chip capacitive fingerprint sensors and the only supplier using this technology with the preferred ridge matching biometric algorithm. Our off-chip capacitive sensors separate the sensing elements from the silicon chip that makes the capacitance measurement to build an image of the fingerprint. This ingenious design ensures excellent security, significantly higher image fidelity, superb noise immunity and market-leading usability under real-world conditions. You can find out more here.

What is a fingerprint sensor module?

Our fingerprint sensor modules form a complete end-to-end biometric solution. The module includes all you need to develop, prototype and manufacture your own product’s biometric interface. We have taken our market leading SmartFinger® fingerprint sensors, which already come with a proprietary image capture chip, and combined them with the necessary power management circuitry and processor to run the biometric matching algorithm. This end-to-end solution ensures your biometric innovations deliver superior image quality, extreme durability, and market-leading performance whilst ensuring integration is simple for you. You can find out more here.

What is the price of our products?

As you can imagine our pricing structure is confidential, but our sales team are happy to discuss your specific requirements. Just send an email to sales@idexbiometrics.com

How long do our products last?

Our products are designed to outlast a standard payment card.

How does the size of fingerprint sensor effect reliability?

If the fingerprint sensor has only captured a small part of the overall fingerprint, trying to match this in everyday use will be extremely difficult. People are unlikely to place their finger on a sensor in the same position every single time, so it is important that the sensor is large enough to capture the fingerprint at a variety of ergonomically friendly angles. This pinching action, known as ‘tip touching’ is very natural when handling a payment card and must therefore be accounted for.

Why is a larger fingerprint sensor surface area important?

A greater surface area allows for a larger proportion of biometric data from a person’s fingerprint. Consequently, accuracy is inherently improved, as the biometric template captured has more data to inform fingerprint authentication.

What can impact the fingerprint authentication process?

The biometric data obtained from our fingerprints is extremely volatile and anything from varying pressure when touching the sensor, to scarred tissue on the fingerprint, can affect the fingerprint authentication process. Inconsistencies in our fingerprints, such as these, can cause ‘false negative’ responses. This is when a valid biometric sample is provided, but the system falsely rejects it.

How much power do our sensors need to operate in smart cards?

There is no battery needed for a biometric smart card to work. They have low power consumption and can operate using the power from a POS terminal. The biometric performance is based on a proprietary matching algorithm that was designed from the ground up for the limited compute resources available in smart cards.

Why is on-card enrollment important?

Our incredibly innovative yet simple on-card enrollment solution addresses what the industry previously viewed as the largest barrier to adoption for biometric smart cards for payments, on-card in-person enrollment. You can find out more here.

How do users enroll their fingerprint on the biometric smart card?

Our enrollment device is lightweight and can be posted to the user. The device’s physical shape guides the user through the process. Enrollment takes less than a minute and our solution has been designed to be incredibly user friendly. User friendly enrollment is known to aid adoption as well as the on-going usability of biometric smart cards. Once enrollment is complete the device can be discarded. You can find out more here.

Where can users enroll?

Our low-cost and seamless end-to-end solution, for both issuers and users, allows card users to securely enroll themselves without visiting a bank branch. Enrollment takes place entirely inside the smart card using its standard secure EMV chip and, uniquely, without the need to connect the enrollment device or smart card to a computer, smartphone or any other connected device.

How long does it take to enroll?

In our trials enrollment takes less than 1 minute.

Where is the fingerprint held and is it secure?

The biometric reference image, that is captured during enrollment, is immediately processed and transformed into an abstract biometric template. This biometric template is not the fingerprint image itself, and for utmost security is stored within a secure storage area of the Secure Element (SE) chip.
This biometric template consists of features and data extracted, by a non-commutable algorithm, from the fingerprint images. The IDEX Biometrics reference design and biometric matching algorithm does not rely on or include personally identifiable information (PII) metadata.

What happens if someone steals a biometric smart card and tries to use it?

Their fingerprint will not match the fingerprint template, secured in the EMV chip, so they will not be able to use the card.

Are PIN numbers, Passcodes and Keys still required?

In principle no, biometric fingerprint security can replace all of these.

Do small fingerprint sensors create security issues?

Yes, because small fingerprint sensors fundamentally work on smaller amounts of biometric data for authentication. Also, for a first-time match to be possible, a high-quality biometric template must be created in the initial enrolment process – and to achieve this a larger sensor is critical. Larger sensors require less touches to enrol the fingerprint – the smaller the sensor the more times an enrollee needs to touch the sensor to capture an image of the whole surface of the finger.

What is dynamic enroll and why is it a security risk?

Dynamic enroll is the process of only partially initially enrolling a user’s fingerprint, and then subsequently adding biometric data to the template, as the biometric card is used.

This method of enrollment, known as dynamic enroll, is leaving a huge security hole in the use of fingerprint biometrics and puts users at risk as a result. If a template can be changed, then over time the fingerprint biometric data originally enrolled onto the card can be gradually replaced. These ‘climbing attacks’ mean that potential fraudsters could use a card that has only been partially enrolled and add their own biometric fingerprint data to it.

What is a biometric sensor?

When identification and recognition of humans are based on their physical attributes, it is referred to as biometrics. A biometric sensor is an identification and authentication device. These devices use automated methods of verifying or recognizing the identity, of a living person, based on a physical attribute. These attributes include fingerprints, facial images, iris and voice recognition.

What is ‘off-chip’ technology?

Our “off-chip” capacitive fingerprint sensing technology separates the fingerprint sensing elements from the chip that process information it collects. This leads to high-quality fingerprint imaging, optimized biometric performance and outstanding user experience. It also allows users to record their fingerprint at many different angles – so the card can always recognize the user no matter how they hold the sensor.

What does FRR mean?

In biometrics, FRR, or false rejection rate, is the instance of a security system failing to verify or identify an authorized person.

What does FAR mean?

In biometrics, FAR, or false acceptance rate, is the measure of the likelihood that the biometric security system will incorrectly accept an access attempt by an unauthorized user. A system's FAR typically is stated as the ratio of the number of false acceptances divided by the number of identification attempts.