Bulgarian bank completes trial with biometric bank card
07 August 2017 18:59 GMT

Norwegian biometric firm IDEX has announced that UniCredit Bulbank of Bulgaria recently completed a trial of Mastercard's next generation biometric card, using IDEX's flexible fingerprint sensor.

The firm noted that the trial received extremely positive customer feedback, which focused on the convenience, security and ease of use of the card and indicates a high likelihood of upgrading to a smartcard with biometric security.

"We are very pleased with the increasing momentum of the global biometric card programme launched by Mastercard in April 2017. The UniCredit Bulbank pilot in Bulgaria follows two previously successful end-user trials in South Africa with Absa Bank and retailer Pick n Pay. The UniCredit pilot is the first to be completed in Europe, and we expect further trials to be completed in Asia and other regions in the next few months," stated Dr Hemant Mardia, CEO of IDEX.

"Consumers are becoming used to the ease of using fingerprint sensors because of their use in mobile handsets. Additionally, banks, retailers and government institutions are increasingly recognising the benefit of biometrics as the best way of getting secure identification. IDEX has established a leadership position in this biometric card segment, and we are focused on commercializing our products and capitalizing on our early-mover advantage."

Customers involved in the pilot provided feedback on using the biometric card, and according to UniCredit Bulbank, their experience can be summarized as follows:

93% of the participants found the biometric card more convenient to use than entering the PIN during the transaction.

Also, 93% of the participants found the biometric card more secure than regular chip cards
and 90% of them would upgrade or probably upgrade their favorite card with the biometric feature if available.


Meanwhile, 100% of them thought that contactless functionality is a must

IDEX's off-chip technology uses a thin, flexible sensor made from polymer. The firm said this allows it to be compliant with ISO standards for long-term durability, and makes it uniquely suited for use in smart cards.