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BioRugged partners with Axon for major KYC projects in Africa

BioRugged partners with Axon for major KYC projects in Africa

BioRugged recently outfitted West Africa’s telecommunications company MTN with more than 9,000 client enrollment and verification devices for know your customer (KYC) applications.

BioRugged has a longstanding relationship with MTN, having supplied over 25,000 units to the company before the most recent agreements. MTN Cote d’Ivoire, MTN Nigeria, and MTN Liberia are the primary MTN markets purchasing BioRugged devices this year, with Globacom/Airtel Nigeria and Ethiopia Telecom being other important clients in Africa.

In addition to KYC applications, the devices can also be used for mobile enrollment and verification for use in projects such as e-voting, employee registration, and time and attendance tracking. Large-scale operations in rural areas can present unique challenges. Biometric identification can help meet those challenges. Using biometrics to cost-effectively verify identities in challenging environments, however, requires specialized equipment such as the BioRugged Ruggbo.

Customizing devices to meet specialized requirements for biometric enrollment and verification is BioRugged’s primary focus and drives the somewhat unique development process that has resulted in the success of corporate and government projects, leading to repeat business. In fact, the company says its client enrollment and verification systems have exceeded €2.5 million ($2.8 million USD) in revenue year to date.

Axon Wireless supplies the KYC software platform Face2Face, which is optimized to work with BioRugged devices like the Ruggbo 20s. A robust, secure, modular biometric system, Face2Face has enabled companies like MTN, Globacom, and Ethiopia Telecom to manage huge networks of agents across both rural and urban areas. The software suite provides both fintech and telco-tech to enable services such as KYC, biometric onboarding, airtime sales, device management, and SIM distribution. Axon`s technology is powered by features that include fingerprint identification, facial recognition, background removal, seamless online/offline, MRZ, OCR, and NFC. The software integrates with billing systems, CRM, national ID databases, telco, and banking services to provide huge advantages to customers. Face2Face has been used to enroll over 250 million people in 13 countries thus far.

Three mobile devices represent the bulk of sales transactions in 2017:


The Rex5s IP68 dust and waterproof model is a rugged hand-held Android terminal for capturing KYC registrations with signature and facial in less than ideal enrollment environments. It is equipped with two high-resolution cameras, a 5-inch touchscreen, and a long-lasting battery. The Rex5s IP68 operates on 2G, 3G, and LTE and supports OTG for a USB keyboard or fingerprint reader.

 Rex5 BioMetric LCC NFC
Rex5 BioMetric LCC NFC

The Rex5 BioMetric LCC NFC dust and waterproof model is also a hand-held Android terminal and is equipped with Suprema’s BMS FAP20 FBI-certified fingerprint reader. It features a durable 8 MP camera with a protective leather cover. The IP67 device includes a 5-inch screen. The fingerprint sensor can be switched off to extend battery life. The Rex5 LCC is a cost-competitive combination for mobile registration or verification using multiple biometrics.


The AIO10m desktop biometric workstation has a wide range of functions built into a mobile desktop terminal with a powerful processor and a 10-inch screen. It captures high-quality fingerprints with a Futronic FS89 sensor, features a camera for facial images, and also scans ID cards (OCR) and prints receipts on a high-speed thermal printer. The AIO10m can also read MIFARE and OCR ID smart cards. Options include NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth 4LE support.

The process BioRugged employs to provide customized devices begins with extensive consultations with customers to best determine the design requirements for specific projects. The company then compares those requirements to its existing models and then either makes necessary modifications or designs a custom device for the client.

MTN has recently upgraded its processes and services to include biometrics while Axon has partnered with BioRugged to tailor each device to the needs of MTN Cote d’Ivoire and MTN Liberia due, in part, to Axon’s KYC expertise.

A successful upgrade of MTN registration systems to include biometrics further bolsters the likelihood of repeat business for BioRugged. With each successful new development, the company’s breadth of experience increases, resulting in an increase in consultations, and ultimately, helping to ensure increased success into the future.

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