TrueID partner Mike Roczynski recently detailed how the company’s alliance with TECH5 is leading to better biometric outcomes in South Africa. In that regard, he noted that the country’s institutions have traditionally relied on South Africa’s Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) database, which stores the fingerprint data of everyone with an official South African ID booklet or ID card.
The problem, of course, is that contact-based forms of identity verification became far less popular (and far riskier) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some institutions tried to replace fingerprints with facial recognition scans, and while the technology has the benefit of being contactless, it also offered less coverage because South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) only has facial data for about 85 percent of its population. When coupled with accuracy issues, that meant that institutions could only verify people’s identities 70 percent of the time.
By partnering with TECH5, TrueID was able to return the country to the fingerprint standard without reintroducing the risk that goes along with shared surfaces. Instead of forcing users to place their finger on a physical sensor, TECH5’s solution allows people to scan someone’s finger with a smartphone camera, which in turn enables reliable fingerprint recognition in a contactless form factor. The feature is delivered through the T5-Finger Mobile app, and can run on any smartphone with a two-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The solution allows South African companies to confirm deliveries and other transactions with secure biometric authentication. The app leverages TrueID cryptographic technology that has also been featured in TECH5’s new COVID-19 immunity credential.
TECH5’s fingerprint recognition algorithm was the second most accurate solution in the latest round of NIST PFT III testing. The Swiss company has since built on that result by announcing the general availability of its T5-Finger SDK, and with the opening of its new UK subsidiary.
March 26, 2021 – by Eric Weiss