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Contactless biometrics app to play key role in Pakistan’s digital wallet rollout

Contactless biometrics app to play key role in Pakistan’s digital wallet rollout

Pakistan is claiming a world’s first for using contactless biometrics on mobile devices to enroll individuals to its national ID system, Dawn reports, and plans to launch its digital wallet by leveraging the app’s early success.

The country’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) launched the Pak Identity mobile application, or PAK-ID in 2021.

The app’s initial testing on 75,000 overseas Pakistanis has been declared a success by NADRA CEO Tariq Malik. Overseas app users were able to use the app to register for their ‘Nicop’ national identity cards, encouraging NADRA to take the next step to digital wallet, which will provide a unique digital ID. The digital identity wallet is also expected to be linked to Pakistan’s biometric SIM registry, and was first announced in late-2021.

“Translating this vision into reality, we have launched the ‘Pak Identity’ mobile app as a key building block of digital ID to facilitate applicants of national identity cards through an online portal,” Malik told Dawn. “The app helps capture biometric fingerprints, facial recognition and scan documents needed for processing a person’s ID card using smartphones, without visiting a NADRA office or embassy.”

The app is expected to be updated this year to support NADRA’s digital ID plans.

He believes the digitization moves will improve financial inclusion, make it easier to do business in the country, and support digital government services with remote identification and KYC functions.

Malik also revealed plans to launch registration centers in the remaining unserved administrative sub-districts of Pakistan.

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