January 4, 2013 -
As a part of a larger objective to spread financial services to all Rwandans and improve the links between the financial system and the masses, the launch of BioCash will lay a basis for KCB Bank to reach people in locations that remain underserved, particularly hard-to-reach rural areas.
This new fingerprint banking system is available to every Rwandan over 16 years old, with a national ID card. Using existing fingerprint records for the national ID cards, the system exists to allow people to connect their fingerprint to a virtual bank account.
Once a BioCash account has been set up, transactions can be made without the ID card, and users are authenticated using only their fingerprint. MobiCash expects this new system will also reduce the instances of robberies in the country, as there will be less need to carry cash or credit cards as this system is adopted and reaches a critical mass.
A recent BiometricUpdate.com Research Note suggests rising rates of security breaches and fraud have made the need for highly secure identification and verification systems extremely important and as a result, biometric banking solutions are being embraced rapidly in emerging economies.
A similar system to the BioCash in Rwanda is already underway in India. As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, Grameena Vikas Bank has opened 105 “ultra small branches,” which essentially consist of a handheld biometric scanner to authenticate and verify users remotely. According to the company, more than 89,000 accounts have already been opened in these USBs and this number is anticipated to grow.