Secure payments and Internet of Things trended at MWC Barcelona

The focus on secure mobile payments and fraud mitigation was evident at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Our recent acquisition of the anti-spoof expert NexID Biometrics drew a lot of positive attention from customers as the anti-spoof software significantly increases security of fingerprint authentication through identifying fake fingers. Oberthur announced that its newly released version of its embedded Secure Element chip Pearl by OT obtained Chinese certification for mobile financial services. Our fingerprint software Precise BioMatch Embedded is integrated in Pearl by OT for secure fingerprint matching. Oberthur drew a lot of attention at MWC as one of the prominent security and payments solution providers.

One of the major trends in MWC was the upcoming 5G revolution and IoT, Internet of Things. 5G will power the development of IoT by enabling significantly faster transmission speed and the possibility to connect billions of IoT devices in the coming years. The focus on IoT naturally increased the already big attention on biometric security solutions. One segment that is using IoT already is automotive. Many of the leading component and solution providers such as Intel, Oberthur, Qualcomm and NXP showcased the future of the connected car at MWC. The focus on IoT, leading to lots of new projects using fingerprint technology, has also highlighted a demand for standardized biometric platforms for quick development and production of IoT devices with fingerprint capacity.

A variety of sensors, in particularly biometric sensors to increase security, is likely to play a key aspect in various automotive use cases, such as access control and built-in payment solutions. The trend towards smaller and smaller fingerprint sensors was also palpable at MWC. One of the drivers is of course the demand for cost-efficient fingerprint sensor solutions for mid- and low-end smartphones. Another trend is to integrate sensors in or under the display. This has opened for new sensor technologies such as optical and ultrasound sensors, which got attention at MWC.

A final observation: Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is a core feature of our products. It was therefore encouraging to see that AI and machine learning was all pervasive at MWC.