ZKTeco is now a globally-renowned solution provider of biometric and computer vision technologies whose offerings range from fingerprint to face to palm veins. Headquartered in China, the company now has a strong global presence. Fernando Ducay, CEO of ZKTeco Europe, tells us what makes the company so successful over the years.
is now a globally-renowned solution provider of biometric and computer vision technologies whose offerings range from fingerprint to face to palm veins. Headquartered in China, the company now has a strong global presence. Fernando Ducay, CEO of ZKTeco Europe, tells us what makes the company so successful over the years.
is world-leading supplier of enterprise biometric verification technology, specializing in hybrid-biometric verification. This year, the company debuts on Security 50
, ranking No. 14 with a 2019 revenue of US$253.4 million and growth of 5.79 percent compared to 2018.
Despite ZKTeco’s success, Fernando Ducay, CEO of ZKTeco Europe couldn’t help but remember the company’s humble beginning as a mere fingerprint-based biometric technology solutions provider. “Some of the founders of the company were experts in biometric technology. They thought at the time that instead of using RFID or passwords, they could move to fingerprint products in the market,” Ducay said. “Basically, they started to think about how to enter the market in biometrics, and they decided to start with time-attendance machines. In early 2000’s, we launched the first time-attendance machine for small & medium enterprises. These system gained great success in China.”
Then, the company expanded its product lineup to include access control solutions due to their strong demand. Today the company’s access control products range from readers and controllers all the way to turnstiles and parking systems. “Our access control solutions are deployed in offices, public buildings, hotels, restaurants, airports and government buildings,” Ducay said.
Beyond time-attendance and access control, ZKTeco continues to look for new and innovative applications using their products and solutions to fulfill customers’ specific needs. Examples include biometrics-verified ATMs, where users can get authenticated with their biometrics rather than debit cards or passwords, which can be stolen. ZKTeco also has casino projects where those on white or black list can be detected instantly.
From fingerprint to palm vein
Technology-wise, ZKTeco has always been on the forefront of innovation and breakthroughs. The company was among the first to launch facial recognition algorithms back in 2012, and then palm vein algorithms in 2014. Today, both technologies gave gained traction worldwide, especially amid a pandemic which has driven users to contactless solutions.
Palm vein, in particular, is poised to become a mainstream technology due to its ease of use and accuracy, Ducay said. “In terms of hands, it’s easy to put your hand in front of the device in the same fashion you say hello to your colleagues, and you get authenticated. It’s very convenient, and it’s easy to implement this kind of things,” he said, adding ZKTeco’s palm vein solution is already cost-effective. “In most of our visible light facial recognition standalone terminals we're selling, we include palm by default. People will say, ‘Why not buy it? The palm vein function is there, the prices is the same.’”
Global leader in biometrics
Being a true global company now, ZKTeco seeks to develop a corporate culture that fosters mutual understanding and respect between employees. “You need to handle how people can work together from more than 35 different countries … so that any single employee in one office can move to another office, and they adopt to the culture and lifestyles that people have in the local office,” Ducay said. “This is something we put in place from the beginning. Fortunately now, all employees at ZKTeco know very well the corporate culture and respect each other.”
And ZKTeco does not just make employees feel they are part of a big family; the company extends that homely and comradery feeling to partners and customers as well. “ZKTeco has a fantastic network of business partners. In 2017 we met in Madrid. We all went kart racing together, and we went to the stadium to see a football match. This is one example of how ZKTeco is able to get along with its partners.”
Covid-19 impact and opportunities
Needless to say, covid-19’s impact on the global security industry has been quite significant, as end user entities scaled back or cancelled important projects. However, despite this difficult time, there are still opportunities for security, especially as demands for pandemic-related solutions pick up. Examples include mask detection, body temperature detection access control terminal & cameras and people counting solutions to effectively enforce social distancing.
“Public and private organizations need to control the flow of persons. Whether it’s a football match in a stadium, a concert or an event, there are a lot of people together in a very limited area, so one of the things we need to address is how users can control the flow of the persons around one area. For this, the most popular method is using physical security restrictions. And this why our turnstiles are increasing a lot in the market, to step-by-step control the people to access one place,” Ducay said.
Contact tracing has gotten more attention as well. “We have implemented facial recognition together with passport and national ID. Using our technology you can access to any place with your passport or national ID. So this is the basis to apply our tracking system for covid. If there's any case in this building for covid, this data of all people inside will go directly to the right health public department or public security department, and they can track directly what are the connections between the covid people and the rest,” Ducay said. “For me, I have the honor to participate in it because of its contribution to the society to help protect against covid.”
Continued success down the road
Indeed, the access control market has become increasingly competitive. To succeed, it’s imperative for companies to innovate on technology and leverage the data collection and analysis features of access control to create crowd control, visitor tracking and other special applications beyond pure door opening and closing, and always, in the worldwide areas required, under the umbrella of privacy and GDPR. In this regard, ZKTeco has done quite well, becoming a globally-renowned solution provider of biometric and computer vision technologies. We can expect its continued success down the road.