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Biometrics to enable mobile phone money transfers


Mobilis Networks Limited has launched fingerprint verification for international money transfers via mobile phones. This service is currently being rolled out across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African region.

The entire process takes less than a minute. A point-of-sale payment device with a biometric fingerprint reader and Mobilis’ software is used by a shopkeeper or retail owner on customers who want to send money to their family. The fingerprint is verified. Upon positive verification, the retail owner can key in the receiving country, currency, mobile number and amount to send.

The device will communicate the information with Mobilis’ central server and its international remittance partners. Once the best foreign exchange deal has been reported, the customer will then pay the retail owner. After the transaction has been completed, the funds are immediately transferred into the receiver’s mobile wallet. Upon receipt of the funds in the receiver’s mobile wallet, the mobile subscriber, through “tap-and-pay” near field communication (NFC) technology at the point-of-sale, can pay bills or purchase goods.

Mobile subscribers, however, need to have a NFC chip in their mobile phones or smartphones. And they need to register. Registration is free of charge and it does not ask for a customer’s bank account or credit card.

Through this new software, Mobilis Networks Limited has captured overseas workers market that wants to send money back home by giving them a more secure and convenient service though fingerprint verification.

Chris Jones, CEO of Mobilis said: “Last year over US$20 billion was sent from the U.S. to Mexico alone. Communities in emerging markets are reliant on these incoming funds. The level of convenience and security provided by our point-of-sale solution for international remittances will have a big impact on the money transfer market.”

He added: “Our mobile wallet solution is meeting the need of emerging markets now. It is being used for point-of-sale payment of groceries, airtime and power bills, through to wages and government disbursements.”

Will biometric-enhanced mobile wallet payments become popular?

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