Friday Sep 10, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has now started contactless biometric verification facilities for the banking and payments industry on the request of the State Bank of Pakistan.
This reported makes Pakistan one of the first countries in the world to implement this technology on a national level.
The service was launched during a visit of SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir to the Nadra Headquarters on Thursday, The News reported, citing a press statement.
The banks in Pakistan can use the service through a digital app on smart phones. It can capture and verify biometrics of the potential account holders from their homes. "With the introduction of this digital technology the banking system will take paradigm shift adding remote biometric capturing technology to digital banking system," the statement read.
The service is initially extended to five banks nominated by the SBP for a pilot run. 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.
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 on-boarding using remote identification and e-KYC features, Dr Baqir was quoted as saying.
He said that the early adoption of this new technology has endless potential to reach towards the under-serviced population and that it extends "great benefit" to the financial sector as it will reduce operational costs.
The SBP governor said it will help release the pressure on banks that been negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the NADRA chairperson Tariq Malik said the facility addresses "the need of the hour" under the current circumstances of the coronavirus 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,” he was quoted as saying.
Banks have started development work to utilise this new service launched by NADRA last week.
Banks and EMIs are likely to start offering new digital banking services to its customers where 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 revolutionise how banking and payments services are offered in the country but will also compliment the financial inclusion drive,” said the NADRA chairperson.