Iris-Scanning Tablets Enable Aadhaar-based Banking

iris featureAxis Bank is staking a claim to being the first financial services institution in India to implement iris-based Aadhaar authentication on a ‘micro ATM’, a term for portable terminals used to enable account access.

Axis Bank has embedded iris recognition technology into a tablet device to enable to the functionality as part of its efforts to foster greater financial inclusion, particularly for those in rural areas. The aim is to enable those kinds of customers to use the tablets to perform transactions relying on authentication through Aadhaar, India’s expansive biometric national ID program. Aadhaar IDs include iris biometrics, and many are now tied to bank accounts, allowing citizens to perform banking and even payments without the need for a physical banking card.

In announcing the development, the bank cited International Centre for Biometric Research data indicating that iris recognition offers a 98.2 percent “authentication success rate”, and said that its technology could verify the identities of end users in three to five seconds. The company is piloting its iris-scanning micro ATMs at eight branches in rural areas in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab, and says it is exploring the use of iris-based Aadhaar authentication for additional banking services such as loan applications.

The news comes about a year and a half after Axis Bank was implicated in an Aadhaar misuse incident involving the mishandling of a customer’s biometric data, which investigating authorities subsequently described as an isolated incident.

August 14, 2018 – by Alex Perala