Novateqni Corporation has received a major contract for its biometric enrollment devices. The order, valued at $1 million, comes from MTN Nigeria, a division of the mobile telecom MTN Group.
The KYC100 devices use fingerprints, photos and biographic data for customer enrollment, and the company says that the MTN Nigeria order is the product of emerging “Know Your Customer” regulations. MTN Nigeria will use them to enroll its mobile customers as part of a regulatory regime that appears to be similar to the one implemented recently in Pakistan after last winter’s Peshawar tragedy. While it may be part of an effort to meet new regulations, it’s also in keeping with MTN Group’s overall efforts to digitize banking via mobile solutions, as it will provide an effective and convenient means of authenticating customers.
Still, the market in which it’s taking place is under unique pressures. Nigeria has been unusually open to the possibilities of biometric authentication, but a lack of coordination in the way that various government agencies have collected biometric data has led to a sense of fatigue among citizens, and recently compelled the country’s president to call for the centralization of biometric data management. That situation could lead to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of MTN Nigeria’s customers as they are asked by yet another organization to submit their biometric data; nevertheless, if it’s a regulatory matter it can’t be avoided.
August 21, 2015 – by Alex Perala