February 19, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter
The first phase of an ambitious Nigerian financial project that will see all banking customers across the nation identified via fingerprint is now operational.
The pilot phase for this project, which leverages biometric technology from DERMALOG Identification Systems to provide strong transaction protection, launched on February 14, 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, in a ceremony officiated by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Within the next year and a half, we will roll out the project in all banks nationwide,” said Sanusi. “Thanks to the latest biometric technology, this will give Nigeria one of the most convenient and secure financial systems in the world.”
The project – the result of a $50 million contract won by DERMALOG last fall – will eventually lead to ATM access and point of sale transactions through the use of fingerprint biometrics. This will not only cut down massively on fraud, but also add a level of financial convenience that biometrics has been promising for some time.
In the same way that fingerprint biometrics technology helps keep records straight regardless of language or level of literacy through electronic health record deployments, the Nigerian financial system upgrade will allow for customers with a low standard of education to conduct otherwise complex electronic financial transactions.
Of course, the fraud reduction aspect of this deployment cannot be overstated.
DERMALOG CEO Günther Mull explains, “Fraud is one of the biggest challenges in the Nigerian banking sector. Thanks to secure and convenient fingerprint identification, in future it will no longer be possible to fake and misuse identities. This will solve one of the most pressing problems for the Central Bank of Nigeria. We are proud to support the bank in this endeavour.”
As a final benefit to list, the fingerprint-base financial system will also allow for a great deal of convenience. When it comes to biometrics and finance, security is the key, but so is simplicity: when your fingerprint is your key there is no worry about the friction that PIN based systems require.
DERMALOG is no stranger to convenience and innovation in financial biometrics, having introduced in November a combination signature-fingerprint scanner at CARTES 2013.