Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pakistan starts contactless biometric verification for banking sector

Bank account holders can register and verify biometrics using digital app, says an official statement

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) initiated contactless biometric verification services for the banking and payments industry in Pakistan, according to a statement issued on Thursday.

The service was launched upon the request of the State Bank of Pakistan. Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir witnessed the launch of service during his visit to Nadra Headquarters, Islamabad. This makes Pakistan among the first few countries in the world to launch the latest contactless services on national level.

Following the launch of the contactless biometric verification system, bank account holders do not need to visit the banks anymore for biometric verification. The banks can now capture and verify biometrics of the potential account holders using a digital app on smartphones.

Initially, only five banks have been nominated by the SBP to use this remote biometric capturing service as part of the pilot project. The technology will be extended to other banks and fully SBP licensed Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) after the completion of necessary formalities. Upon completion of the pilot project, all banks and EMIs will be allowed to use the technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor State Bank said, “This new mobile-based verification service for banks and Electronic Money Institutions is in line with SBP’s financial inclusion initiative while creating opportunity for rapid onboarding using remote identification and e-KYC features.”

He further said that adopting this technology early on will allow banks to reach the underserviced population and will reduce operational costs as well, helping relieve pressure on Banks who have been negatively impacted during the Pandemic.

On the occasion, Mr. Tariq Malik Chairman NADRA said, “We are addressing the need of the hour during this ongoing pandemic.”

“NADRA is proud to maintain its reputation for introducing niche technological trends in the country. It is another step towards our aim of creating a robust National ID Eco-System in Pakistan”

NADRA introduced a similar mobile verification service for Online ID Services (Pak ID) earlier that was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on 1 September 2021.

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