Fingerprint Business in the UK & Europe: Sunny Side Up?
by Norana Johar, Senior Marketing Manager
When Asians talk about Europe, there’s a mist of sophistication envelops the continent. When an Asian just came back from Europe, the nose somehow is pointing 45 degree upward. (It’s funny but true.) Once upon a time, not that long 52 years ago, the British invaded Malaya. Considering the size of their males and their weapons of choice, I couldn’t blame the locals for not standing up for their countries. (If they were to stand up, they would be shot dead at once). We couldn’t hide and attack with our dagger. That would be a no-brainer. The only way we could obtain what we wanted (independence) was through talks and negotiations.  Fast forward,
images of European we see on television, in movies, in the media, always have some kind of style and elegance to it. Jane Austen, James Bond, Sir Richard Branson, Rowan Atkinson (yeah, he too has some kind of style), Kate Winslet, Orlando Bloom are some of the most popular English around the world. Somehow Europeans seem smarter, busier, more complicated, more opinionated, have more freedom and open-minded than us. The images did not differ significantly from the real life, though I wished to see a lot more Orlando in London.

All is not lost
The thing is, doing business in Europe is a big deal for us. It’s not an easy task to enter into the market which has standards of their own and wouldn’t settle for anything less. We have entered the Middle East, we have partners in Africa, and we are getting stronger in Asia, and we think it’s time to test the water in Europe. The outlook of the United Kingdom and Europe’s economies are not at all alluring right now with the financial crises that have hit the continent pretty hard. On the brighter side however, the worldwide security hardware revenue is expected to increase from 6 billion US dollar to a staggering 13.6 billion in 2010, while biometrics market is projected to achieve 6 billion US dollar by 2010 from the mere 3.56 billion last year.  Britain has adopted fingerprints in its

e-passport and there are many other European countries that will adopt the same thing within the next three years. Apart from fingerprint, voice recognition and facial recognition technologies are getting perfected to serve the needs in the government and private sectors alike, as the market has experienced the reliability of biometrics technology in confirming one’s identity.

When there’s a will…

The challenges for FingerTec in the United Kingdom and Europe are plenty but manageable.  First and foremost, a brand must ooze international vibe (unless we are selling Asian products like instant noodles). While Far East’s pricing are welcome, Far East’s image for a product is frown on. Europeans value subtleness, similar to their culinary taste, which is less colorful, but at the same time is very interesting. Second of all, a brand must provide international quality products. FingerTec has obtained CE, FCC, RoHs and SIRIM (Malaysian standard) are covered but there are some more standards, which need to be considered to enter into a larger market of in the UK and Europe. Third, does we provide the service level that is required by this matured markets? Apparently so with our online resources and personnel those are dedicated to solving problems within 24-hours. Fourth is language. We don’t exactly use the Queen’s English but we use English unlike many in the market who are “always very interesting to get to know their customers.” Apart from English, European nations have various foreign languages that require efforts from our side to strengthen our marketing resources. Manageable. Fifth, a gray area is human rights issue.  We don’t have this issue (I mean in relation to fingerprint system) in Asia or in Africa or in the Middle East, but we are not quite sure what to expect in the UK and Europe. And the list goes on but we are optimistic.



According to Biometrics Industry UK,, global biometrics industry is set to triple in size by 2012 supported by government identity management scheme, criminal and surveillance systems and private sector initiatives.

IFSEC 2009 had introduced us to many interested companies from the UK and the European countries. Our marketing strategies appeal to most of them. What we need to do now is to do what we do best; to be there along the way to make sure FingerTec is always making things easy for them.
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