Giesecke & Devrient and Bundesdruckerei, the two distinguished German specialists in secure government solutions, have come together to bundle their international ID business and launched the Veridos joint venture at the beginning of the year. In this interview, Hans Wolfgang Kunz and Hermann Sterzinger tell us what makes this company so unique.
1) Veridos opened for business at the beginning of the year. How did this joint venture come about?
[Hans Wolfgang Kunz] Veridos pools much sought-after expertise in high-security technologies for governments and state printing offices in a single company. This expertise is delivered by two globally recognized partners: Giesecke & Devrient and Bundesdruckerei. The joint venture will allow us to rapidly and substantially increase the parent companies’ share in international ID business. Veridos provides us with the critical mass needed to find the best possible position in global competition.
It also allows us to boost our footprint. Together, we can leverage our international customer relationships, with each partner contributing its own experience and extensive technological know-how. This joint effort ultimately means that we are much more cost-efficient and this will benefit our customers too.
2) What does Veridos have to offer that the parent companies alone would not be able to offer?
[Hans Wolfgang Kunz] The portfolio is much more extensive for customers, covering the entire value chain of secure identification. Another advantage is that we can offer bespoke solutions for the international market from a single source. From our production sites, we can supply reliable, high-security products and, in urgent cases, we can offer our excellent Business Continuity solutions. Our customers benefit from combined technological expertise, fast distribution channels and a broader portfolio.
3) Is Veridos the first step towards a general merger of both parent companies?
[Hermann Sterzinger] Co-operation is restricted entirely to international business with ID solutions for governments. This does not include any of the other segments, i.e. business in Germany, banknote printing, as well as private sector business, which both companies will continue to run independently.
5) What exactly does Veridos offer?
[Hermann Sterzinger] We offer both individual components and products for identification systems as well as one-stop solutions. The Veridos portfolio includes passports, ID cards, healthcare cards and driver’s licenses. We also produce systems for document issuance, personalization and documentation in addition to solutions for border control, voter registration and personal identification. In the case of passports, for instance, we cover the entire value chain, from paper right through to eGates.
[Hans Wolfgang Kunz] This means that whenever citizens disclose their identity, either in analog or digital format, they can trust in solutions from Veridos. It goes without saying that Veridos also benefits from the experience of its parent companies, for instance, the introduction of the German ID card which is considered to be the most secure solution on the market. We can hence offer our customers a unique product portfolio from a single source.
7) The future is digital and mobile. Is there any room left for paper documents?
[Hermann Sterzinger] It’s true, digitization is set to spread further and will become even more important for our business. Mobile verification, for instance, is already proof of this. Take, for example, online authentication and authentication in the cloud where secure ID solutions will also be needed. That being said, we are convinced that sovereign documents will continue to exist in the future and will be simply supplemented by digital applications, e.g. by mobile devices, clouds and smart IDs.
9) Finally, to something completely different: What does Veridos mean?
[Hermann Sterzinger] Veridos stands for our company’s core business: The first three letters “VER” refer to verification. The next two letters “ID” stand for identity or identification and the final two letters “OS” mean overall services.
About Veridos GmbH
– Veridos was established at the beginning of 2015 as a joint venture between Giesecke & Devrient GmbH and Bundesdruckerei GmbH and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
– Giesecke & Devrient holds 60 percent of the shares in the company and Bundesdruckerei 40 percent.
– The company offers identification and identity solutions.
– Veridos bundles the expertise of the two parent companies for international business, offering the entire value chain of secure identification.
– For more information, go to: http://www.veridos.com.
About the management
Hans Wolfgang Kunz (CEO)
– Mr. Kunz (born 1954) studied Economics in Munich.
– He has been CEO of Veridos since the start of the company in 2015.
– At the same time, Mr. Kunz has been a member of the management board of Giesecke & Devrient (since 1996).
– At G&D, he has been in charge of the Government Solutions business unit since 2006.
Dr. Hermann Sterzinger (COO)
– Dr. Sterzinger (born 1968) studied Mechanical Engineering in Munich. He also went on to obtain a degree in Economics and Labour.
– In 1997, he completed his doctoral thesis at the Department for Private and Patent Law at TUM in co-operation with Max Planck Institute.
– Dr. Sterzinger has been COO at Veridos since its start in 2015.
– Prior to that, he had served as head of the Government Solutions Division at G&D since 2011.
The complete interview can be read in the next issue of “The Vault” offering news and insights from the world of ID security.
Veridos will be exhibiting at SDW in London, one the most important events for solutions for secure identification. The company will be present on 10 and 11 June at booth J13. To find out more about the conference, go to: http://www.sdw2015.com.