UNHCR, IrisGuard launch EyeCloud to assist refugees with biometric banking

January 20, 2016 - 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Cairo Amman Bank (CAB) and IrisGuard have announced EyeCloud, a new project in Jordan that delivers financial assistance to refugees through banking and biometric technology based exclusively on UNHCR biometric registration data.

The system is designed to facilitate cash-supported interventions that help deliver financial assistance to refugees with speed and dignity, while lowering overhead costs and boosting accountability.

The EyeCloud technology, which uses IrisGuard portable iris-scanners, is, according to the company, deemed by experts as the most advanced refugee cash program.

UNHCR provides refugees with assistance through the iris-enabled service at more than 50 CAB ATMs in the various administrative divisions of the Kingdom including areas where Syrian refugees are.

The project incorporates feedback from refugees and provides a means to access assistance without having to queue for items outside an aid agency.

Refugees don’t have to visit a bank to register, which eliminates long waiting periods for enrollment in a traditional banking system.

Additionally, refugees will no longer need ATM cards. Using the biodata collected during the registration with UNHCR, the system will allow cash machines to interface directly with UNHCR’s biometric registration database and quickly verify the refugee’s credentials without the bank needing to re-verify those identities.

Expanding on the EyeCloud service, the UNHCR will allow other humanitarian agencies to use the UNHCR secure encrypted database and network to deliver refugee assistance.

“We are privileged and excited to assist the UNHCR in providing our comprehensive EyeCloud iris recognition cash assistance service to Syrian refugees throughout CAB’s ATM network in Jordan,” said Imad Malhas, founder and CEO of IrisGuard Inc. “The effective EyeCloud financial inclusion platform permits the UNHCR to securely and efficiently authorize unbanked refugee populations to withdraw financial subsidies with ease, dignity, safety and respect, directly from ATM’s on the street, without a pin or a card. The EyeCloud platform is designed to extend financial inclusion for large populations of unbanked around the world.”

It was announced last November that the United Nations has been using IrisGuard’s iris recognition technology as part of its humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees across the Middle East.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.