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BIO-key to provide biometric authentication platform to Nigerian telecom in $30M deal



BIO-key has announced its first major contract win in Africa since the launch of its new strategy for the continent, reaching a $30 million deal to provide its biometric authentication platform WEB-key to a telecommunications company in Nigeria.

The deal was made by BIO-key’s African subsidiary through its partnership with the Technology Transfer Institute of Africa (TTI), working with the company’s Nigerian supplier partner Chams PLC.

The WEB-key platform allows customers to choose between secure management of biometric credentials centrally or on user’s devices, and by adding its licensed mobile “plug-in” customers can implement multi-factor security on mobile devices running Windows, Android, or Apple iOS. The interoperable software supports more than 40 different scanners, including most fingerprint scanners integrated with enterprise laptops and tablets, according to the announcement. For devices lacking a fingerprint scanner, BIO-key’s USB products are widely available through leading retailers and the company’s international distribution partners.

“Recognizing the opportunity to bring cost-effective solutions to the African market, over the past six months, BIO-key opened a subsidiary in Africa and began actively pursuing several opportunities,” comments Mike DePasquale, chairman and CEO of BIO-key. “Today’s announcement represents a major step in addressing the extensive and growing opportunity for large-scale identification, enterprise and consumer security in one of the largest and fastest growing economic regions of the world. Nigeria’s population is estimated at over 206 million, making it the seventh most populous country globally,” De Pasquale continued.

BIO-key launched its Africa subsidiary in November of 2019, and its Managing Director Dr. Steve Uwazie told Biometric Update in an email interview that Nigeria and other West African markets would be its initial target areas, followed by East Africa, and that the WEB-key platform would play a key role in its introduction of biometric technology.

“We are very excited to be working with BIO-key to provide their innovative and flexible identity solutions in Nigeria,” Chams PLC Group Managing Director Gavin Young states. “As a leading identity solutions company in Nigeria, we understand the importance of a partnership with BIO-key to drive identification and e-Verification in Nigeria, and throughout Africa. Nigeria presents significant, untapped market potential for identity solutions and we look forward to expanding our partnership with BIO-key.”

Nigeria’s Communications Commission has been considering revising SIM registration rules to require that all SIM holders verify their identity with the biometrics-backed NIN.

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