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Acuant biometric KYC to secure decentralized finance for African students

Acuant biometric KYC to secure decentralized finance for African students

Acuant has established a partnership that will see its biometric know your customer (KYC) and document authentication technologies used to enhance digital identity security for students and teachers seeking access to decentralized financial (DeFi) services in Ethiopia.

According to a press release, the partnership means Acuant’s biometrics will be integrated into Atala Prism’s blockchain-based digital identity solution, which is being extended to around five million students and teachers in the Horn of Africa country.

Atala Prism is the digital identity component of the Atala suite of enterprise-focused blockchain products offered by IOG (Input Output Global), and the deal will give the identity platform access to over 300 sanctions lists and watchlists to prevent bad actors from infiltrating the ecosystem.

Integrating the document authentication and biometric KYC technology of Los Angeles-based Acuant will enable Atala Prism’s DeFi customers to establish a legally verifiable identity credential, which will open up a wide range of third-party services such as opening a bank account or applying for a loan.

The move, the partners say, comes within the context of changing regulations for finance and digital identity platforms that run on blockchain technology, and the need for IOG to remain compliant with those regulations.

The integration will also create more verifiable and secure identity credentials, making ID checks easier and more reliable, thereby increasing trust in the system.

Dynal Patel, chief product officer at IOG praised the initiative and argued that individuals should be able to hold the keys to their own identities. “This is something that both IOG and Acuant are firm believers in. Having a verifiable identity credential could be a game-changer for the 1.7 billion people globally who currently can’t prove their identity, because it will open up access to vital services like bank accounts and healthcare.

“Partnering with Acuant will allow us to enrich Atala Prism and offer a more secure digital ID verification process, ensuring provable identity is available to everyone.”

“This partnership with IOG is so exciting to us. We share the belief in creating technologies that have a positive social impact,” said Acuant Chief Product Officer Jose Caldera, commenting on the partnership, “The fundamental concepts that are built within the Cardano blockchain align with our principle of democratization of trust.”

Last month, Acuant added video KYC capabilities including face biometrics to its trusted identity platform, and also announced a banking partnership with Canadian financial services provider Finaptic.

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