Spotlight on Mary Probst, Gemalto, Inc.

The world leader in digital security, Gemalto provides secure documents, identity solutions and services in the civil identity sector. 

Ahead of the Anti-Counterfeit and Currency Expo, we spoke with Mary Probst of Gemalto, Inc., about the company's newest technological innovations, upcoming developments within the industry, and what she's hoping to achieve from attending ACCE.

Hi Mary, please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

I lead North American marketing activities for Document Readers and Biometric products in the Commercial Marketspace. This entails targeting vertical markets, such as Visitor Management, Healthcare, Banking/Finance, Hospitality/Gaming, etc., and enhancing those businesses with the use of our product portfolio. I also develop and execute marketing plans, value propositions, and growth strategies in this area. I also attend trade shows and gather market intelligence to help us understand (and know) the customer better, understand trending, and broadening awareness of our products. 


What inspired you to join Gemalto?

Actually, I came with an acquisition. I was previously with 3M Company, and in May 2017, 3M Company sold its Identity Management businesses – including Document Readers, Cogent Biometrics, and Security Materials – to Gemalto.

The Identity Management businesses that were purchased have been a great fit for Gemalto. Not only has the acquisition broadened Gemalto’s portfolio, but it has also brought some focus and investments into these businesses that didn’t seem to fit well with 3M’s vision.

If you aren’t aware, Gemalto is a global leader in digital security with customers in over 180 countries. We bring trust to an increasingly connected world, from our secure software to biometrics and encryption. Our technologies and services enable businesses and government to authenticate identities and protect data, so they feel safe.  Our solutions are at the heart of modern life, from payment to enterprise security and internet of things.


What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?

There is a genuine purity in Gemalto’s focus on making the world more secure.

Our document readers and biometric solutions – including facial recognition –are developed with unrivalled accuracy, and we are constantly enhancing and expanding so that we can support more operating systems, easily integrate on API’s and SDK’s, and add advanced features for an ever expanding array of use cases. Of course, we continue to advance our algorithm capabilities, showcased by our recent leading results at the DHS Biometric Rally as well as the first place position in MINEX fingerprint matching.

Gemalto applies this same work toward the advancement of technology within other business units – such as banking and payments or Internet of Things – as well.


What are the key opportunities and challenges your company faces at present?

We are excited about some of the emerging opportunities in the various markets that our identity verification solutions can serve. Customer education and awareness of the various solutions and capabilities of the available products on the market is a key challenge for many companies in this space. Another challenge for all of us is staying ahead of the technology, regulatory requirements and the counterfeiters. Innovation and product development are key to staying ahead of the curve.


Are there any new technology developments that you are currently working on? Can you tell us about them?

With respect to our passport and ID reader solutions, earlier this year we launched our newest addition to our document reader product line - the AT10k. This latest generation document reader has a smaller footprint and brings an aesthetic design to what is traditionally a basic, ordinary task oriented device. Designed for the most demanding authentication and identification scenarios, the new Gemalto AT10K allows users to inspect, authenticate and capture data from electronic travel and identity documents quickly and reliably. Ideal for high traffic applications such as border management, banking, hospitality and travel where speed is just as important as accuracy and reliability. We are excited to introduce the networked version, the AT10Ki, in the next few months, which can operate in standalone mode (no computer, battery powered), is cloud ready, and has Ethernet/Wi-Fi connectivity.


Designed to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters, it is definitely innovation we are proud of. Gemalto's research and development engineers continuously design groundbreaking concepts in order to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters.


Gemalto has also recently launched Color Laser Shield, our unique solution for securing a color photo within a polycarbonate ID document. Powered by four color lasers hitting a special ink in the document's inner structure, this new issuance solution achieves the highest levels of resolution and counterfeit protection. During personalization, the color photo is marked precisely, permanently and irreversibly in the document's inner layer. The technology incorporates the implementation of three lasers within the laser personalization machine. Red, green and blue industrial lasers irreversibly bleach the cyan, magenta and yellow colors. Gemalto Color Laser Shield has been deployed in the field with over one million national eID cards issued by Cameroon's authorities. We feel the unrivaled security performance delivered sets a new benchmark in laser personalization solutions. Designed to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters, it is definitely innovation we are proud of. Gemalto's research and development engineers continuously design groundbreaking concepts in order to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters.


What would you say most excites you about your role?

I love working on the Greenfield projects; finding new markets for existing products; talking with customers and developing new products and use cases, based on their input.


How do you think the industry will develop within the next five years? Can you tell us about the key trends emerging?

I’m very optimistic about growth in the commercial marketspace. Many market studies show a steady CAGR of double digit growth for the markets we serve. Furthermore, the level of document and identity fraud is going to continue to grow. Fraudsters are just getting better at what they do; they move quickly as technologies change.

Self-service kiosks are the trend, and I think there will be strong growth there with North America dominating the interactive kiosk market. As we know, kiosks provide convenience to the user and we are a culture all about convenience.  By integrating our document readers and biometrics into those kiosks – working through kiosk manufacturers – we can help alleviate fraud and bring trust to consumers. 

Certainly there is also a growing importance in visitor management to track visitors and their movements, within schools, buildings, casinos, hotels, venues, etc. Gemalto’s identification solutions, from our document readers authenticating an ID to our biometric verification, help create proactive security solutions in our target markets.


What do you hope to achieve at the show in November 2018, and what connections do you hope to make?

I hope to learn more about new features and developments in document security, so we can ensure we stay ahead of the trends with our own product developments. I also hope to glean information from the various participants in the markets we serve to ensure we understand their needs and requirements. 


In one sentence, what has been your greatest achievement to date?

For me, personally, it’s been the mentoring I’ve done over the years, and to see those individuals’ achievements in their own careers.


For more information visit, or follow @gemalto on Twitter. You can find Gemalto at ACCE at booth 514. 


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