Bytes Technology Group has become a Lumidigm partner, following its acquisition of Brand New Technology (BNT), which had a broad range of exclusive distribution agreements in place focussed on delivering identification management solutions.

The acquisition has seen Bytes Technology Group become the exclusive distributor in Africa and the Middle East for global authentication solutions company Lumidigm.

“Bytes has worked alongside BNT for several years to build an established customer base and strategic market share for Lumidigm biometric fingerprint readers locally,” says Nick Perkins, divisional director, identity management solutions, Bytes Systems Integration.

“Our identity management solutions division focuses largely on customer identity verification solutions, and having access to Lumidigm’s multispectral imaging (MSI) technology ensures that customers who want to use fingerprint readers, get the very best fingerprint technology available.

“With Bytes SI’s large footprint in South Africa and across the continent the partnership made sense as it enables further penetration of the market for both companies.”
Perkins says customers want fingerprint technology that focuses on real world conditions. Most solution providers use conventional optical technology whereas Lumidigm uses its patented multi spectral imaging technology. With optical technology, the finger must be clean, and sensors image only that part of the finger that is in contact with the platen, resulting in an “ink on paper” fingerprint effect.

With Lumidigm MSI, the fingerprint reader uses a direct imaging process that “sees all” characteristics of the surface and subsurface of the finger, even those not in direct contact with the platen. This produces a highly detailed image which is much more unique and, when compared with future matches, is far superior at matching than optical fingerprint readers.

The real benefit of MSI technology, he adds, is that “poor” fingerprints can be enrolled too, including those of older people and manual labourers.

“If you cannot obtain an image upfront with which you can match against in the future, the system can never be properly deployed. Lumidigm MSI now ensures you can, regardless of the quality of the fingerprint.”

Lumidigm is already in use at five of the top six banks in South Africa, and in a number of other industries. As a result of the number of fraudulent transactions taking place in Africa, Perkins says, the market is demanding assurance of identity when transacting with customers.

This affects financial services, retail, telecommunications, hospitality, government and any organisation that interacts with a customer who have to provide an identity credential – such as a credit, store or loyalty card – during the transaction process.

“Organisations want confirmation that the person presenting these credentials is in fact the owner of that credential, and is entitled to make use of it,” he says.

“A simple solution is to match a fingerprint against the card credential during the transaction to ensure that the person presenting the card is the rightful owner. The market is enormous and Bytes and Lumidigm are well positioned to assist organisations achieve greater efficiencies and operating cost reductions,” adds Perkins.