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Pakistan leverages biometric tech for inclusive banking and to secure property transactions



Pakistan has almost finalized preparations for the poverty alleviation program Ehsaas Kifalat, which will be officially launched on January 31, by the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, reports Ary News. Ehsaas digital payment is a key feature of the program.

Last October, Pakistan’s Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) partnered with multinational bank Habib Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah to make improvements to its financial assistance program by introducing a new biometrics-based payment solution which includes savings.

Dr. Nishtar inaugurated HBL’s biometric ATM in Islamabad to help poor women in the Kifalat program gain easier, transparent access to cash transfers. The Ehsaas digital payment system gives beneficiaries the option to use a biometric retail shop, a biometrically-enabled ATM or any biometrically-enabled branch of Habib Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah.

“Opening biometric ATMs and bank branches (of partner banks HBL and BA) the beneficiaries of Kifalat is a major feature of the new Ehsaas digital payment system,” said Dr. Nishtar. “Previously women had no choice. They used to go to retail shops and there were very few of them in each city. The retail agents usually made deductions from their tranches and often fraudulently deducted money. Under the new system, women will be able to go to biometric ATMs and branches.”

LDA introduces online biometric authentication for property transaction security

The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) can now conduct online biometric verification at its office for people inquiring about property transactions, after gaining access to the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) centralized database, the Express Tribune writes.

The dedicated NADRA counter at LDA was instated by LDA’s Director General Sumair Ahmad Syed who ran a biometric verification on himself. According to Syed, by implementing biometric authentication through physical traits such as fingerprints, it will be easier to establish legitimacy of people involved in property transactions.

“As soon as a citizen places his thumb on the biometric scanner, the system will verify the credentials in real-time through the online system,” he said.

Besides achieving high identification accuracy, LDA will automatically gain access to the person’s family tree, adoption information, birth date and other relevant details.

The LDA system and the NADRA database will be periodically synchronized, building a framework for future projects.

Each applicant’s fingerprints will be collected and processed for authentication against NADRA’s fingerprint database. If no match is found, a message will inform the institution that the fingerprint is not valid against CNIC. Verification requirements include a valid CNIC and biometric capture of fingerprint. For marriage certificates, NADRA will check the marital status and spouse information. If the validation is provided by the system, a verification fee is charged.

Last week it was reported that Pakistan will require biometric screening and identity verification for those participating in national investment schemes in an effort to prevent funding terrorism and to improve its ranking to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s Black List.

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