German firm awarded tender for Nigerian biometrics scheme

The Central bank of Nigeria has awarded the contract for the capturing of bank customers’ biometric data to a German based company, Deralos.

The biometrics project was envisaged to check fraud and boost confidence in the banking sector by properly identifying customers, said CBN Governor, Laido Sanusi.

The reason why many people in the country had not embraced the banking services was a lack of confidence in the banking system.

The Apex bank governor noted that the biometric database which the project would implement would boost customer confidence in the banking system and provide authentication solutions against fraud.

“The first thing we need for any kind of transformation in the banking industry around money laundering, fraud and financial inclusion is to be able to properly identify customers. The biometrics gives you unique identification because you cannot change your finger.

“If you commit fraud in one bank or borrow from one bank, and do not pay, the next bank that wants to check your credit record will know that you have a history of bad loan. So, it improves the entire confidence around which the banking system is built on,” he said.

Sanusi also said that the biometric database would solve the problem of irregular signature, and also ensure more participation of uninformed people.

The CBN boss noted that the first phase of the biometric database, which will cost about $50 million, would be completed within 90 days, with at least one branch of every bank linked to the data base.

According to him, after completing the database of commercial banks, the initiative would be extended to other financial institutions like microfinance banks and mortgage banks.

All banks in the country would share the cost of the projects and no customer would be charged either directly or indirectly for the project, he said.

 

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