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Ready to deliver Biometric Payment Cards globally

Zwipe Talks

BY

Zwipe

Megha Roy

,

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, Zwipe

Peggy Wu, CEO & Chairman of Beautiful Card Corporation (BCC), shares her thoughts on the evolution of card payments, while highlighting the need of addressing safety and security concerns of consumers.

Below are the excerpts from the interview...

How did you begin your career in this industry and how has your experience been so far?

Right after college, I started working in the finance sector where I worked my way up to a managerial position. I then joined a German company in trading and procurement sector. I hold a background in sales, planning & strategy, and finance. During my early days at BCC, I was asked by investors to monitor the business operations of the company and was subsequently offered a management position.

BCC was established in 1991, focusing on producing plastic cards- such as membership cards and scratch cards. Over the years, BCC gained market share in the banking & telecom industry. According to the 2019 Nelson Report, BCC ranked as the 7th largest SIM card manufacturer in the world.

Looking back, what are your special learnings and how did you address challenges coming your way? 

Today, BCC is a well-established company. One of the major challenges is ensuring the successful integration and elevation of our historical and cultural foundation built over the past 30 years to fit into a rapidly evolving business environment. As the product lifecycles have shortened and suffered from declining demands, we, as a keen player, are always looking to grow our part in this rapidly evolving industry.

Card applications are targeting security features. Security features in payment cards have evolved from magnetic strips to EMV chips. Now it’s time for the next major leap of card technology by embedding the fingerprint sensor and integrating it with the payment chip on the card. This innovation offers a superior biometric performance, ensuring the safety and security concerns of consumers & card issuers.

Speaking of the APAC region, cashless and contactless payment methods have contributed greatly to drive payment volumes. Thanks to contactless payments, today consumers are so used to faster and easy payment solutions. Overall, the APAC region has a very diverse market, where some markets are far ahead in technology, while others are far behind. The spectrum is wider but at the same time, it also offers great opportunities.

 

When it comes to payment cards, how do you assess the demand from end users/banks in the APAC region? Which shifts in consumers’ payment habits are most interesting and why?

In the APAC region, consumers are very used to “tap to pay” – and the demand on security levels has increased over time. Consumers and banks want efficient payment solutions with strong customer authentication.


How is biometrics changing the card manufacturing industry in your view? What impact will it have on consumers, banks and society at large? At BCC, how do you assess the future of biometric payments?

With the high usage of online payments over mobile phones, there is a major impact on the card manufacturers, such as BCC, and the banking industry in general.  The payment transaction volumes are are shifting from banks to non-banking fintech or payment companies. However, with every crisis, there is a turning point. A high-security payment method such as a biometric card is the best solution for the banking industry today. A secure, “fingerprint authentication on payment card" can shift the leading role of managing payment solutions back to banks, especially when combined with excellent marketing efforts.

For the card manufacturing industry, to fulfill the requirements and become a certified biometric card manufacturer, equipment up gradation as well as components and personalization software package are essential. By combining the integrated biometric module, inlay, and dual interface smart card chip, card manufacturers have a great opportunity to deliver value added cards with higher margin and create differentiation.

Consumers can leverage their own unique fingerprint traits for extremely secure and intuitive authentication experience. There is no need to enter a PIN code on the Point-of-Sales (POS) terminal to perform a payment transaction; both in contact and contactless mode. We can achieve efficiency, cleanliness, safety, and security with the personal biometric fingerprint data saved on the card instead of a database or online exchange of fingerprint data—which are always vulnerable to hackers or criminals.

As witnessed in the industry, biometric payments will become more and more popular as they satisfy consumers’ need for security, convenience, and peace of mind. These cards will also strengthen banks’ central role in the payment services business. 

Peggy Wu, CEO & Chairman, Beautiful Card Corporation
HIGHLIGHTS

"Consumers are very used to tap to pay in the APAC region"

"Biometric Payment Cards represent a big growth opportunity for BCC”

"The application of access control with the biometric feature will be the next interesting area"

Can you throw some light on what made Beautiful Card Corporation interested in biometric payment cards? Which growth opportunities did you see as a potential here?

From the era of contact to contactless, BCC has been a frontrunner in the payment card revolution. Coming into post-millennium times, a new revolution is taking place. As more and more alternative payment solutions arise, BCC views biometrics as one of the most promising enablers of payments, not only in security but also in the user interface, infrastructure, and usability. We believe this is the future of payment cards.

It makes sense. The market is ready. And BCC is ready!

 

Besides payment cards, which application areas of biometrics interest you the most and why?

The application of access control with a biometric feature will be the next interesting area. Traditional access cards have limited security features and usually, these cards control access to highly secured areas. So, I believe the access control sector will be the next interesting area for biometric cards. 

 

How is BCC’s collaboration with Zwipe progressing and what are your plans for 2022? 

Everything is in good progress and things have started taking shape. Zwipe is a professional & resourceful company. With the regular meetings, we are ensuring progress on our action plans, more and more customers are enrolling our Pilot Run Program. BCC and Zwipe share the same value and futuristic vision.

In 2022, BCC will launch a New Biometric DI card implanting equipment to perform mass production and EMV LOA. BCC will be one of the first card manufacturers that can start producing Biometric Payment Cards based on the disruptive Zwipe Pay platform. We are very delighted to start this new era. We have also been promoting this innovation to all our potential customers across different geographies. We have received promising feedback and we look forward to commencing actual shipping to the banks and access control industry by the year-end.