IDEX Biometrics is using fingerprint technology to make your credit and debit card transactions safer.

Chris Ludden, the Vice President of Silicon Engineering for IDEX Biometrics, explained how the technology works and why the company is thriving in Rochester Wednesday morning during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“IDEX Biometrics is a provider of fingerprint sensors for the smart card market,” said Ludden. “The smart card market is really the payment cards such as credit and debit cards that we’re all using, but specifically the ones with the chip inside.”

Ludden displayed a sample card to show how the fingerprint technology works, and why it represents a change to protecting your information. “When the card is received in the mail from your bank there’s a special sleeve that’s patented technology from IDEX, patent pending, and what you would do is follow the instructions on the sleeve that allow you to store your fingerprint in the card in the comfort of your home. The card is not connected to the internet. There’s no method for you data to be stolen, so several different touches in the card store different angles of your fingerprint and then that data is utilizes in the future to verify your identity when you’re making a transaction.”

The mart card fingerprint technology just being rolled out. “We’re working with Mastercard, they’re a strategic partner for IDEX, and they’ve gone through worldwide trials with different banks and in Europe and Africa and Asia. The trials are really the kind of pilot run for making sure the banks like the technology and the banks then make the decision to offer it to their customers and place orders. We’ve actually just received our first production orders for cards this quarter that we’re delivering so, it’s really technology that’s literally emerging, starting to ramp.”

As it turns out, the Rochester region is an ideal location to develop and grow this technology. “Rochester has an interesting pool of talent,” noted Ludden. “My company is a multinational organization, we have development teams in Europe as well as the U.S. Rochester specifically is responsible for developing the silicon chips that go in the fingerprint sensors for IDEX Biometrics as well as advanced senor technology that we’ll use in future products. Rochester has a unique talent pool for integrated circuit design from its roots from Kodak and Xerox years ago. And more specifically those people that were in those positions are now working locally in different small design centers or for other companies doing chip development and there’s actually a unique pool of talent here related to capacitive sensing which the technology used in the cards as well as some display based technology, so the combination of silicon design, capacitive sensing, and display technology are all what drives us to Rochester.”

To see our entire conversation with Chris Ludden, click the link below.

For more information about IDEX Biometrics, visit

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