Under display and biometric smart cards – hot topics at MWC in Barcelona

Four days with a hectic schedule full of interesting meetings, discussions and interviews at Mobile World Congress 2018 Barcelona (MWC) gave a strong confirmation that solutions for under-display fingerprint sensors and biometric payment cards are the hot topics in biometrics right now.

The overall buzz at World Mobile Congress in Barcelona was 5G and AI. But there is no doubt that devices with full-screen displays got a lot of attention, indicating that the market is moving towards the new generation of smartphones, initially in the higher price segment, with visually appealing edge-to-edge screens and under-display fingerprint solutions.

This is made possible by using optical or ultrasound fingerprint sensors that can read fingerprint images through both standard display glass and AMOLED displays. This is of course exciting for Precise Biometrics, offering a hardware-agnostic software solution and with more than ten customers in optical and ultrasound sensing. Vivo even went a bit further into the future at MWC with the attention-grabbing demo of its Apex concept device with an optical fingerprint sensor integrated directly into the display, among other exciting features.

The announcement of Samsung Galaxy S9 also has also garnered quite a lot of attention. The Galaxy S9 is equipped with a new authentication system, combining facial recognition and iris scanning with a fingerprint sensor. This is an attest that fingerprint authentication plays an important role in multimodal biometric solutions for secure identification. Multi-factor authentication based on a combination of fingerprint authentication and other modalities will provide a convenient and reliable level of security and identity assurance in mobile payment solutions.

Our algorithm solution for contactless biometrics payment cards attracted a lot of interest. The solution is used in the first pilot project in the USA with biometric payment cards carried out by VISA and Mountain America Credit Union. The interest in contactless payment cards with fingerprint authentication, which increase convenience and security of payments, is shared by all the market actors; from major card schemes to banks, retailers and, of course, consumers.

Finally, the biometrics industry publication Find Biometrics noted that strong authentication and biometric technology fitted into every key trend at MWC. A statement we agree with fully.