IrisGuard refugee aid delivery with iris biometrics uninterrupted by physical distancing requirements
With minor adjustments, the iris biometric technology from IrisGuard used to deliver aid to refugees in several countries is being used to maintain support with contactless processes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has updated Biometric Update in an email.
IrisGuard has been a biometrics partner to UNHCR since 2012, and also supports WFP, UN Women, UNICEF, IOM, and many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and retail banks, the company’s CEO and Founder Imad Malhas writes.
Because the systems use iris biometrics, they are not affected by the widespread use of protective masks. UNHCR also outlined its efforts to adapt system to rely on iris recognition without fingerprints and support physical distancing in a recent report.
In addition to providing hardware that enables non-contact authentication, IrisGuard developed the EyeCloud, which the company says supports real-time transactions at ATMs, supermarkets, post offices, and mobile wallets, and supports resettlement processes by UNHCR partners, financial services providers, blockchain networks, immigration services and many third parties.
In Jordan, iris recognition is used by CAB mobile bank buses visiting locked-down areas to enable refugees to withdraw cash, and camp supermarkets which process payments with biometrics. IrisGuard also has partnerships with Jordan Post, LibanPost and Egypt Post, which are beginning to reopen to provide services supported by biometrics to refugees.
In addition, IrisGuard partner ZainCash is using a printer and the EyePay Phone developed by the biometrics company, to which IrisGuard recently added offline functioning, for mobile verification to deliver cash to doorsteps in Kurdistan.
“The future of transactions is mobile and IrisGuard has developed the next generation of its platforms by combining EyePay with Android technology, creating a bespoke application that authenticates and authorises via a global database, using an EyePay Phone,” Malhas says. “Leveraging the popularity of mobile hardware – even amongst refugee populations – we look to serve even more of the unbanked than before. The innovative API is suitable for all Android-enabled mobile phones and we’ve been able to break through with the EyePay Phone by maintaining a perfect balance between mobility, size-convenience and accuracy, for which IrisGuard is globally renowned.”
The company is seeing increased interest, though Malhas warns it is too early to know if it will result in real projects.
“However, it is great to see that the success our technology has had over the years and its benefits are being recognized as a safe, secure, and Covid-19 resistant solution in the current situation we find ourselves in.”
The overall global market for contactless biometrics is expected to quintuple to $70 billion over the next 10 years, according to a recent report.