Adding contactless biometric verification services for digital banking and payments industry in Pakistan

The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Pakistan added contactless biometric verification services for the country’s banking and payments industry, making the Asian country one of the first in the world to introduce the technology at the state level.

As first reported by Dawn News, the new service was unveiled during a recent visit to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir at Nadra’s head office last Thursday.

Banking institutions in Pakistan will use the digital application on mobile phones to capture and verify biometric data of account holders. With the launch of this digital technology, the country’s banking sector will integrate remote biometric capture technology into the virtual banking ecosystem.

The newly introduced service will be offered in five local banking institutions that would have been chosen by the SBP to carry out a test program. Other banking service providers and electronic money institutions (EMIs) approved by the SBP can also join the test phase. Once the pilot phase is successfully completed, this new service can be deployed by other Pakistani banks and IMEs.

The SBP governor said:

“This new mobile verification service for banks and electronic money institutions is in line with SBP’s financial inclusion initiative while creating an opportunity for rapid onboarding using remote identification and email functionality. ‘e-KYC. “

He further noted:

“The early adoption of this new technology has endless potential to reach the underserved population, while providing great benefit to the financial sector, as it will reduce operational costs, helping to ease the pressure on banks that have been negatively affected. during this pandemic. “

Tariq Malik, President of Nadra, noted:

“We are responding to the need of the hour during this ongoing pandemic. This new technology enables contactless fingerprint acquisition and matching using a mobile smart phone, providing an alternative to conventional methods of performing digital financial transactions that may require specialized equipment or services. visits to bank branches / franchises. Nadra prides itself on maintaining its reputation for bringing niche technology trends to the country. This is another step towards our goal of creating a robust national identification ecosystem in Pakistan. “

The banking institutions in Pakistan have initiated appropriate development works in order to effectively use this service.

Nadra officials have confirmed they will offer this service to IMEs as well as fully digital banking providers.

Taking advantage of Nadra’s new product, local banks and IMEs are likely to start providing updated virtual banking solutions so that customers can easily open new bank accounts and maintain digital wallets. Customers can also perform biometric money transfers with their smartphone cameras from the comfort of their own homes.

Malik added:

“This will not only revolutionize the way banking and payment services are offered in the country, but also complement the financial inclusion campaign. “

Nadra has launched a somewhat similar mobile verification service for Online Identification Services (Pak ID). The service was introduced by Prime Minister Imran Khan September 1, 2021.

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