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Zwipe: Snatching the BSC Frontrunner

Redeye Research Note timeStamp 2020/10/14

Redeye is pleased to see that areeba, the number one frontrunner in biometric smart cards, has exclusively selected Zwipe Pay ONE. This is a short related comment.

areeba (yes, spelled with a small “a”) is a payment service provider located in the Middle East and North Africa. It has a similar role as TietoEVRY (see our note from last Monday), i.e. being the interface between card manufacturers and banks. We estimate that it serves ~20 banks. We have not found any numbers on areeba’s card volumes, but when Bank Audi divested areeba for USD 185m, three years ago, both Bank Audi and the buyer ( M1 Group) stated that areeba had a 40% market share in Lebanon. Lebanon has a population of about 7m people.

In 2018, areeba started 10 pilots together with Gemalto, Fingerprint Cards and Zwipe, making it the number one frontrunner in biometric cards, which still holds true to this day, in our view.  Since the 10 pilots, Fingerprint and Zwipe have parted ways. Today, it was announced that areeba has chosen Zwipe’s Pay ONE platform with unilateral exclusivity. There is no exclusivity on Zwipe’s side. It is not entirely clear why areeba accepted the exclusivity, but it signals commitment, in our view. We think one possible explanation could be that areeba thinks that exclusivity might give them higher priority.

The press release also mentioned enrollment via a mobile app solution that uses the phone’s NFC. We assume this solution will be relevant for other partners as well.

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