New-generation biometrics for today’s security and identity challenges

Effective and flexible solutions for a changing biometrics market

Did you know...

  •     Sopra Steria’s global community of biometrics specialists has delivered solutions in 27 countries, including the UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Belgium and France
  • A dedicated Biometrics Centre of Excellence in Oslo, Norway has developed and delivered biometrics booking and identification solutions across Europe
  • Our new-generation biometrics capture and enrolment system processes ten-prints, quick checks, latents, palm prints and mug-shots, as well as iris and signature scans
  • Sopra Steria has worked closely with police forces and immigration services for two decades to design the most efficient biometrics solutions
  • SteriaAFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) offers police, border control and other homeland security teams high-speed searches for greater efficiency
  • We are the prime contractor for Visa Information Systems (VIS), the Europe-wide system for visa applications that enables member states to combat VISA fraud
  • We are experienced in implementing large AFIS for managing asylum seekers in Europe, as well as for the criminal police in Belgium
  • Our revolutionary Biometric Data Capture System (BDCS) is already deployed in service and in operational theatres to safeguard military personnel and facilities, and to identify injured personnel
  • We partner with specialist technology product vendors, including Crossmatch for livescan technology and Cognitec, whose facial recognition technology is integrated with our proprietary solutions

Combatting constantly evolving security and criminal threats at home and abroad

With cross-border travel, crime and fraud now easier than ever, biometric technology offers a more efficient way of reliably identifying individuals, tackling criminals and managing security threats.

The need to reliably manage identities for security and authentication purposes is not restricted to homeland security and defence agencies. It is increasingly the concern of other public sector entities and private companies, such as healthcare providers and banks.

The scale of this challenge is growing on a daily basis. Pressures on budgets and limited resources demand faster and more accurate performance of essential tasks. This is more relevant than ever in light of the increasing volume of travellers and transactions as the global population continues to grow. These tasks include the processing of asylum applications, the smooth flow of cross-border traffic, authentication of criminal identities and controlled access to military facilities, health records and even bank accounts.

Within this landscape, more and more organisations are turning towards biometric technologies. Biometrics hold the key to greater efficiency, accuracy and speed. Typically focused on fingerprints, the constant drive for improved accuracy while handling higher transaction volumes is creating a trend towards multi-modal biometric solutions, such as those offered by Sopra Steria. These include face, iris and vein recognition technologies.

With a proven track record in biometrics, Sopra Steria is at the forefront of these developments. We are helping to integrate new biometric technologies with existing security and identity systems easily and cost effectively. We’re delivering cost savings, total quality of service and agreed outcomes in the core areas of biometrics consulting, access control and authorisation, enrolment and capture, encoding and matching, multiagency communication and forensics.

The usability of our proprietary products sets them apart from many others. They include:

  • SteriaAFIS: our back-end solution for the storage and biometric matching of fingerprints in large databases is fast and accurate with immediate results
  • SteriaFITPlus: fast and accurate capture, review and transmission of all print types, latents and mugshots
  • SteriaFITMobile: taking rapid capture, identification and transmission out on the road
  • Biometric Data Capture System (BDSC): verifying identity reliably and quickly at critical access points

  But that’s not all. Every day our clients trust us to help them transform and operate their business and IT functions. We support them with knowledgeable business and IT consulting services and solutions. We manage their IT infrastructures and applications portfolios and provide them with efficient testing, quality assurance and business processes.

As business models mature across Europe’s biometrics landscape, this strength in IT- enabled business services ideally positions us to help you move your biometrics capabilities to service-based management. We have a proven reputation for delivery excellence and for building long-term trusted partnerships. Indeed, 95% of our clients renew their contracts with us. Isn’t it time you took a closer look at Sopra Steria?

Transforming and integrating your biometrics capability

In the face of rapid and constant technological change, how do you integrate new biometrics technologies with existing IT systems easily and cost effectively?

New biometrics technology is revolutionising the ease of use, accuracy and performance of traditional biometrics solutions. It is driving more reliable identity verification in healthcare and criminal justice and supporting efficient immigration and cross-border travel. It is adding another layer to police and defence security processes. And it is helping to combat increasingly intelligent criminal activity in areas such as financial services.

But how do you know what biometrics capability you need? Do you have to throw out your existing systems in order to adopt the latest biometric technology? And is there a better way to share data and information between departments, agencies and countries?

Sopra Steria can help you respond to these questions. Our Biometrics Consulting Services give you a comprehensive portfolio of product, technology and regulatory advice to support the transformation of your biometrics systems.

  •   Biometrics business logics: defining the workflow structure of biometric solutions you need, ensuring your applications are used as effectively as possible
  • AFIS consultancy services: helping you define key identifiers for your AFIS system and, by drawing on our extensive market knowledge, recommending the most appropriate solution
  • Compliance: ensuring you have the technical capability to transmit information in line with national and international technology requirements for sending and receiving data
  • National, EU and international regulations: providing workflow and data capture advice on the use, capture and storage of biometric information according to the rules governing human rights, privacy, data protection, etc
  • Architecture: providing guidance on the architectural design of your biometrics solutions. In the face of rapid and constant technological change, how do you integrate new biometrics technologies with existing IT systems easily and cost effectively?
  • Integration: integrating biometrics solutions with your existing internal or third-party solutions and managing a wide range of interfaces with other agencies
  • Operations: how to maintain and support large and complex biometrics solutions

pb033v01-04Whether we recommend one of our own market-leading biometrics solutions, or work with a niche technology product provider, we always focus on the individual needs of the end user. Our partnerships with specialist biometrics technology companies ensure that we remain at the forefront of developments in this rapidly changing industry as we propose the most appropriate solution for the task in hand.

Systems integration expertise

  Our strength as a global systems integrator is a critical factor in helping to bring biometrics strategies to life. We draw on a deep understanding of the complex connections, interfaces and security controls that enable our clients to manage the real-time flow of biometric information nationally and across borders. For example, as crime becomes increasingly global, we can integrate SteriaAFIS with existing technology to provide extremely rapid identification using face, iris and other biometrics data registered within diverse databases, including those holding criminal records and prisoner details.

Other examples include:

  •   EURODAC: as border controls are relaxed across Europe, the task of policing illegal migration has grown in tandem. Sopra Steria is helping to alleviate this pressure. We implemented the EURODAC (European fingerprint database for identifying asylum seekers and irregular cross-border travellers) biometry system on a European scale for the European Commission. It processes immigration application requests and allows member countries to check if asylum has already been sought in another member country. A single registration takes a few minutes and negates the need for lengthy investigations every time asylum is sought.
  • Norway: the Biometra project for the Norwegian Police provides a central communications server through which several internal and external applications interface to give several thousands of users the ability to download and use SteriaFITPlus.
  • European Union Visa Information System (VIS): Sopra Steria is leading the consortium developing the Schengen Visa European Database including biometrics information, enabling member states to grant Schengen visas and combat visa fraud. With the help of Steria’s VIS, border guards are able to verify whether the person presenting a visa is its rightful holder.
  • Belgium: our integration expertise was called on by the Belgian Police for whom we integrated an AFIS solution with their existing systems.

Reducing costs while increasing accuracy

Can biometrics help to counter the escalating cost of safeguarding borders, communities and personal information by improving efficiency and reducing fraud?

The production of high quality fake identity documents is easier than ever with today’s technology. This is adding to the cost and resources needed to spot illegal migrants crossing borders and prevent financial fraud. Criminals arrested and released, pending trial, are also turning to fake identities to avoid prison by paying others to assume their identities, attend court and even serve prison time.

These are just a few examples of the pressures adding to the cost of security, identity management and law enforcement. But as public sector agencies and commercial businesses across Europe grapple with increasingly strict budgetary controls, the significant efficiency and cost benefits offered by biometrics in addressing these issues are being recognised. Put simply, biometric identity cannot be ‘borrowed’: it is very hard to fake and is always unique.

Sopra Steria provides the services, solutions and products that deliver these cost and efficiency benefits. Our proprietary products and niche partnerships extend beyond SteriaAFIS, SteriaFITPlus and mobile identity verification to embrace national access points and biometric-based ID cards, amongst other capabilities.

Delivering benefit

We save you money by increasing work efficiency and facilitating more cost effective procurement. Here’s how:

  •  More with less: with technology enabling one person to do the work of several through automated processing of biometric data, the potential to reduce headcount or free up resources to focus on other areas is huge. Sopra Steria’s automated border control (eGates) solutions also increase the efficiency of border guards by automatically authenticating travellers using electronic travel documents.
  • Authentication: costly authentication mistakes can be avoided with greater use of biometrics capabilities, such as the inclusion of biometrics in documents including visas and passports, and linking the document to a centrally stored database of biometrics information, makes identification more accurate and efficient.
  • Access to information: police officers’ ability to find identity information around the clock can cut the cost and time of investigations. For example, we are providing Kripos (national criminal investigation service) in Norway with access to biometrics information held in several AFIS databases, including EURODAC, without any increase in resources. And our SteriaNAP (National Access Point) solution allows 25 countries to communicate efficiently with the central EURODAC Server.
  • Value-added procurement: working on standard hardware, including PCs, our SteriaAFIS solution is highly cost effective in terms of the hardware required and licences costs, making it the natural choice for agencies seeking both efficiency and value.

Managing growing volumes

How do border authorities, police and other security agencies rise to the ever-growing demands on their time in the face of reduced headcounts and spending restrictions?

The volume of work undertaken in defence of borders, communities and citizens is escalating rapidly. There are a number of reasons for this. For example, EU programmes designed to facilitate trade and ease of movement between European countries, as set out in the Schengen Agreement, have opened the door to cross-border criminality and illegal migration.

Other developments have added significantly to the workload of many police forces. These include the Prüm Treaty allowing police forces to compare and exchange data more easily and the Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) Agreement allowing participating countries to exchange data with the United States on suspected criminals. Vast national fingerprint databases now have to be regularly searched at the request of another country’s police force.

Critical benefits

With so much information and huge volumes of people to be managed and controlled at our borders and on our streets, efficiency is crucial. Sopra Steria’s biometrics solutions increase efficiency by delivering several critical benefits:

  • Reduced duplication: the capture or enrolment of biometric data, such as fingerprints or irides, is typically labour intensive with one person having to provide information several times for storage in disparate systems. Sopra Steria has addressed this issue for the Belgian police with a solution to integrate different systems so that one data registration can be shared across regions and police bodies.
  • Ease of use: the easier it is to perform tasks, the more effective people are at their work. Sopra Steria’s biometrics solutions have been specifically designed to help users speed up processes and get results, quickly and accurately. Our capture and enrolment portfolio includes our smartphone-based solution SteriaFITMobile. It is used, for example, by the Swiss police to enable officers to capture fingerprints and receive responses while out in the community.
  • Scalability: as   police forces continue to respond to the demands of Prüm and national databases grow exponentially, SteriaAFIS offers a highly scalable information sharing capability. It can be tailored to automate many time consuming manual processes to increase an entire user group’s efficiency. This automation frees up criminal investigation officers to focus on more critical tasks.
  • Speed: rapid i   dentification is a key enabler of higher volume processing. SteriaFITPlus meets the requirements of national immigration services to quickly identify fingerprints in the short time they detain suspects. SteriaAFIS provides a high probability of matching poor quality fingerprints with 20 finger search within just two seconds using rolled and flat prints.

Rising to the challenge of 21st century biometrics-led security and identification

Sopra Steria offers biometrics solutions that incorporate new business models, game-changing technologies and proven expertise in business process optimisation.

Our biometrics solutions portfolio is built on more than 20 years’ experience in this specialist area. These solutions are complemented by our proven IT-enabled consultancy services and technology solutions that give you the agility you need to make change happen as quickly as possible:

  • Transformation services: su   pporting the ongoing transformation of business processes, applications and IT infrastructure.
  • Consulting: making the most of our sector expertise to successfully implement strategic and organisational change.
  • Application development and system integration: from solution definition, design and development, to deployment and ultimate benefits realisation.
  • Testing and quality assurance: bridging the gap between application development and systems rollout.
  • Application management: agile, focused IT services based on guaranteed outputs and outcomes designed to optimise and maintain solutions.
  • Infrastructure management: meeting the drive for cost reduction, flexibility, performance improvement and growth.
  • Business Process Outsourcing: delivering a step change in business efficiency, agility and performance in functions such as HR and Finance & Accounting.

We draw on our best-in-class consulting, solutions, services and implementation expertise to ensure our clients are able to operate efficiently in this constantly evolving area. In Norway, for example, we have automated the process for registering immigrants. This has reduced duplicated effort that previously saw registration being carried out twice to meet the differing needs of EURODAC and the Norwegian AFIS.

   Our application development teams take an agile approach that gives clients flexibility to influence product development to fit their needs. In Switzerland, for example, we responded to a request to integrate technology for measuring fingerprint quality with the back-end Visa Information System (VIS). Our solution means that fingerprints are immediately suitable for use within VIS, which avoids the wasted effort of capturing new prints or other biometrics data.

Across the entire biometrics landscape, we’re freeing up our clients and giving them the tools they need to focus on their business priorities of safeguarding borders, managing security threats and tackling crime.

Sopra Steria biometrics solutions

We deliver specific biometrics and related services, solutions and innovations, including:


  • Application Management and Development
  • Business Process Consulting and Implementation
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Change Management
  • End-to-End Case Management
  • End-to-End Testing Management and Governance
  • Finance Transformation
  • Infrastructure Management
  • Operational and IT Outsourcing
  • Partner Management
  • Programme Management
  • Regulatory Change Management
  • TUPE Management


  • Business Visioning
  • Channel Strategy & Portal Solutions
  • Cloud-based, Infrastructure On Command
  • Digital Visioning
  • Legacy Enablement
  • Location-based Applications
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Target Operating Model Design and Roll-out
  • Technology Insight and Direction
  • Technology Insight & Direction


  • Access Control/Authorisation
    • Biometric Data Capture System (BDCS)
    • eGates
    • FastID
    • Queue-control
    • SteriaFITMobile
  • Biometrics Consulting areas
    • AFIS
    • Architecture
    • Biometrics Business Logics
    • Compliance
    • EU regulations
    • Operations
    • System Integration
  • Encoding/Matching
    • BDCS
    • SteriaFITPlus
    • SteriaAFIS
  • Enrolment Capture
    • BDCS
    • Facial Imagery
    • Fingerprint • Iris
    • SteriaFITPlus
    • SteriaFITMobile
    • Vein
  • Forensics
    • SteriaAFIS
    • SteriaFITPlus
    • Multi-agency Communication/ Interfacing
    • BDCS
    • SteriaNAP (National Access Point)
    • SteriaFITPlus