April 20, 2016 -
Some of the most ambitious biometric regulations in the world are taking place in Pakistan, where the government has determined the best way to deal with high-stakes national issues like fraud and terrorism is through the use of identification authentication technology. As the sixth most populous country in the world, Pakistan is a challenging but very promising market for the companies providing this technology.
In Pakistan all new SIM cards must be registered to an individual whose identity is confirmed with a database of citizens managed by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The regulation has been put into practice gradually since 2014, but now nears completion due largely to biometric products provided by Islamabad–based Kwick High Tech & Solutions. It provides several fingerprint verification products to the telecommunications sector, for both in-branch and mobile use.
Kwick is the largest provider of identity authentication products under the SIM registration program, providing several different devices, but its mobile S4Q device is the best-seller. This resilient, NFC-enabled capacitive and optical scanning system can be used as POS system over 3G or 4G. Kwick CEO Mohammad Waseem Rafi told BiometricUpdate.com that the company’s own encryption algorithm and eight-step security protocol featuring multiple encryption methods keep all private data secure en route to NADRA.
With the telecommunications biometrics regulation project entering a stage of full national adoption, Pakistan is beginning to require biometric verification in another large industry with intentions to employ biometric verification – banking.
“There is a cut throat competition on going, between in-branch and branchless banking verification systems, in the market,” Rafi said. “Since the State Bank of Pakistan has posted new regulations where biometric verification is compulsory for account opening, a number of businesses have jumped in with demand for the devices. Always ready to meet the demand, Kwick has developed 1st tier, 2nd tier, and 3rd tier biometric solutions.”
Kwik offers a POS product for banking and financial institutions to process NFC-based smart cards, and Rafi said that both the customized banking version of the S4Q and the S8A desktop model have been widely adopted within the industry.
Having developed the software and designed the hardware, Kwick is able to customize each product to meet the challenges of each national project; and the challenges can be significant.
“The main challenges that are faced when providing mobile biometric solutions like our S8A, S4Q and KBB, is the lack of awareness. (The) majority of the retailers are uneducated and have difficulty operating modern devices. Since 3G/4G license were auctioned in 2014, and we had to develop the infrastructure in the required time, we had to run the project on 2G. Furthermore, the central database needs show more efficiency in citizen record keeping. And since they were operating with minimum resources, once the verification project was launched, the systems were over-loaded and so decreased the response time. So, we have equipped our mobile devices with maximum features to meet the requirements of the customers.”
Kwick is finding growth in other areas as well, Rafi says, including traffic ticket payment systems and train security, and it has developed an e-voting prototype. If Pakistan’s bold plans for identity authentication pay off, Kwick is strategically positioned to serve the next stage.
“Kwick has its own software team which develops different software for different OS and devices. We provide the complete solutions; hardware, with our software and middleware, for each sector/business/industry,” Rafi said.
“Every industry has its own dynamics,” he continued, “so we develop software (along) with the hardware changes, to accommodate our customer’s requirements. We have developed our desktop solutions to cater to each industry. Our hardware and software have been developed to compatibly operate on Windows, Linux and Android OS.”
Kwick has presences in the UK and Malaysia, and its products are also in use in the Middle East and Africa.
With its mobile and in-branch solutions for telecoms and the banking industry, and its complete and customizable technology, Kwick High Tech is positioned to serve diverse, large markets both domestically and internationally.