ISLAMABAD: Capitalizing on technical advancements, and as per the request of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has launched the latest Contactless Biometric Verification Services for the Banking and Payments Industry, making Pakistan one of the first countries in the world to implement this Technology on National Level.
The service was launched during the visit of Governor State Bank Dr Reza Baqir to NADRA Headquarters, Islamabad on Thursday.
The Banks in Pakistan will make use of the digital app on smartphones capturing and verifying biometrics of the potential account holders from their homes. With the introduction of this digital technology, the Banking system will take a paradigm shift adding remote biometric capturing technology to the digital banking system.
The service is initially extended to five banks nominated by SBP for the pilot. Other banks and fully SBP licensed EMIs, after completion of necessary formalities will also be included in the pilot run. Once the pilot is completed, this service shall be extended to all Banks/EMIs.
Speaking on the occasion Baqir 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 added, “early adoption of this new technology has endless potential to reach towards underserved population while it extends a great benefit to the financial sector as it will reduce the operational costs, aiding in releasing pressure on Banks who have been negatively impacted during this Pandemic”.
NADRA Chairman Mr Tariq Malik commented, “We are addressing the need of the hour during this ongoing pandemic. This new technology makes contactless fingerprint acquisition and matching possible using a smart mobile phone, providing an alternative to conventional methods of conducting digital financial transactions that may require specialized equipment or visits to Bank Branches/Franchises. 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 EcoSystem in Pakistan”
Banks have started development work to utilize this new service launched by NADRA last week. NADRA will also be providing this service to the Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) as well as branchless banking providers. Capitalizing on NADRA’s innovative product, the banks and EMIs are likely to start offering new digital banking services to its customers whereby bank customers will be able to open bank accounts and wallets and conduct biometric-based financial transactions using their Mobile Phone Cameras from the ease of their homes.
“This will not only revolutionize how Banking and payments Services are offered in the country but will also complement the financial inclusion drive,” said Chairman NADRA
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.