Precise inks major Nigerian deal

28/09/11

 

Precise Biometrics has confirmed it has been chosen to deliver its Match-on-Card technology for the Nigerian national ID card.
The scheme – which will initially involve 50 million citizens – will see card holders using their document as both a national ID and as a bank card. The project was won through Precise Biometrics’ Nigerian partner Interswitch. In expected value, this national ID project is the largest so far won by Precise Biometrics.
Interswitch is a member of the One SecureCard consortium, which won 50% of the total ID card project. Nigeria will start to issue ID cards to its citizens this year, and the card will eventually be issued to 100 million citizens. This means that the project for Precise Biometrics comprises 50-60 million cards to be issued over a six year period. The ID card will also operate as a bank card under the Interswitch-owned brand Verve.
According to Precise Biometrics, Nigeria has chosen to add Match-on-Card to its ID card because of issues with fraud and identity theft. It says: “Match-on-Card enables storage and matching of a fingerprint directly on the card itself, a secure biometric verification that greatly reduces fraud. Many Nigerian banks are looking into Match-on-Card, expecting to include the technology in other projects.”
“Precise Biometrics has been a key strategic partner in winning this project,” says Mitchel Elegbe, CEO of Interswitch. “Its Match-on-Card technology adds extra value to Interswitch’s offer in terms of ease-of-use and security”
Nigerian citizens will use the card to access public services such as health care, pensions and other social services. In addition, a large majority of Nigerians remain unbanked and therefore may not always receive payments they are entitled to. Because the ID card will also operate as a bank card, many Nigerian citizens will have access to a financial system from which they might otherwise be excluded.
“We expect substantial income from this project in the coming years, including fingerprint readers once more cards have been deployed,” says Thomas Marschall, CEO, Precise Biometrics. "We have agreed with our partner not to disclose specific values, but the income from the project will naturally be reflected in our regular financial reporting.”
As a separate and additional opportunity in Nigeria, Interswitch will continue to pursue more local state ID card projects in the country similar to its first win, Cross River State, which also includes Precise Match-on-Card.

 

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