Integrated Biometrics (IB) is highlighting the role that its fingerprint scanners are playing in the Nigerian banking system. The country is using IB’s technology to register customers for its Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), and to link each individual to a unique Bank Verification Number (BVN) as part of that initiative.
The BVN program was set up to make the Nigerian banking system more efficient. It provides each person with an identification number recognized by every bank within the country. That BVN can then be used to open an account at any bank, and to complete transactions, apply for loans, and perform other financial activities. It was also designed to reduce the threat of identity fraud, making it more difficult for criminals to gain unauthorized access to an account.
However, the NIBSS needed a way to link each individual to their BVN, and found that traditional methods like PINs and passwords simply weren’t strong enough to prevent fraud (at least according to the Central Bank of Nigeria). That’s where biometrics comes into play. The organization now gathers fingerprint data as part of the BVN enrollment process to ensure that financial criminals cannot take advantage of someone else’s number.
IB’s fingerprint scanners are being used to facilitate that process. The NIBSS is now using IB’s Kojak PL 10-Print roll scanner to register Nigerian citizens, after first selecting the scanner based on a recommendation from the financial software specialist Papersoft and its local partner Global Accelerex.
The Kojak PL itself is an FBI-certified FAP 60 scanner with a lightweight design. NIBSS has now ordered and deployed 5,000 individual devices, which had been used to register more than 41 million Nigerian residents as of March, 2020.
In 2019, IB opened a new office in South Africa in an effort to increase its presence in the African market. The company would later celebrate Nigeria’s National Identity Day in 2020, and has encouraged the United Nations to recognize Identity Day as a global holiday.
Nigeria is in the process of implementing a national identity program with the help of $433 million from the World Bank. Integrated Biometrics, meanwhile, has also provided Kojak scanners for Santander Bank Mexico.
February 9, 2021 – by Eric Weiss