Veridium wins second grant to develop biometric software for financial inclusion
Veridium has won a $150,000 grant from the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Lab, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to extend financial services to unbanked populations in emerging countries around the world.
The grant was awarded to Veridium after its successful completion of the DFS Lab Challenge to develop secure software technology for capturing and verifying fingerprints using only the sensors, such as a camera, contained in an unmodified Android smartphone. The grant money is further development of the technology, including a mobile app for enrollment and matching against existing government databases, which can increase transparency and security in the distribution of government aid, according to the announcement.
“We’re glad to announce this investment in Veridium and see their 4 fingers touchless biometrics identification as an important step toward financial inclusion,” said Jake Kendall, DFS Lab Director. “Their technology allows biometrics to be deployed over billions of existing smartphones reaching into low income and rural populations all over the world. We’re looking forward to helping Veridium further their work and bring it to market.”
Veridium says the quality of prints taken with its 4 Fingers Export software is equivalent to prints captured on traditional flatbed scanners, and allows user biometrics to be used as part of a KYC process for new account validation, fraud reduction, and improving access for people in rural areas far from bank branches.
“Winning the grant from DFS Lab has enabled us to be one step closer to our goal of disrupting the current banking model, which currently excludes billions of people around the world just because they lack identity documents,” said Lori Cohen, CMO, Veridium. “Our goal is to help design a new banking model, using our biometric authentication technology to bring the unbanked into the financial services system. Additionally, over time, improve their circumstances, making it possible to open a bank account, apply for credit, and achieve a level of financial stability.”
A previous grant from the DFS Lab in 2017 supported the launch of a pilot program in partnership with Wala to provide blockchain-backed financial services in sub-Saharan Africa.