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First biometric payment card could soon be a reality

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The first official biometric payment card pilot is paving its way into Africa. The pilot is being carried out by Norway-based Zwipe in collaboration with Masria Digital Payments (MDP).  Zwipe offers biometric identity and access control solutions for public and commercial spaces.

MDP is based in Egypt, and operates as the largest smart card manufacturer in the country.

The company first partnered with Zwipe back in 2020, and they have since been working together to bring biometric payment cards to MDP’s Egyptian clients.

They also report considerable interest from Egypt’s financial sector.

The initial pilot will kick off in early 2022, ahead of an eventual commercial launch. The cards themselves will feature Zwipe’s Pay ONE card solution, which supports contactless payments and verifies the identities of card holders with fingerprint recognition rather than a PIN.

MDP hopes to market the card to financial institutions in Egypt and other parts of Africa.

“Seeing a strong interest from our bank clients, we are confident that this first pilot is one of many to come,” said MDP VP Ahmed Nafei.

“During the pandemic, we have seen growing demand for touch-less checkout as it is safer and much more hygienic. Zwipe is a global leader in biometric payment technologies, and we are thrilled to collaborate with them.”

“Zwipe and MDP have worked very closely over the past few months to bring both the product and overall commercial proposition to the Egyptian market, and we are delighted that banks have responded so positively,” added Zwipe CCO John Goodale. “We look forward to launching this product with the bank and supporting it all the way through the pilot and into the commercial launch.”

The news is in keeping with Zwipe’s recent efforts to expand in the African market. The company teamed up with the Mauritian payment and card personalization provider ICPS in July, and then partnered with Morocco’s NetPS a few months later.

The Pay ONE solution features a fingerprint sensor from IDEX Biometrics.

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