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8M overseas Pakistanis register for digital ID, pensioners face more biometric checks

8M overseas Pakistanis register for digital ID, pensioners face more biometric checks

More than 8.2 million Pakistanis abroad who hold the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) have registered with the National Database and Registration Authority of Pakistan (NADRA) as new features are rolled out, while pensioners will now have to prove they are still alive every six months with a biometric check at a bank branch.

More than 8M overseas Pakistanis register with NADRA, biometric app use grows

NADRA is seeing digital identity enrollment rates among overseas Pakistanis for various products and services grow, according to a speech by its chairman Tariq Malik at the Overseas Pakistanis International Conference, reports Dawn.

As well as 8.2 million overseas Pakistanis now registering for digital ID, more than 6 million overseas Pakistanis now have NICOP and machine-readable passports. 465,000 have opened Roshan digital accounts, which use remote biometric onboarding to allow holders to open bank accounts in Pakistan and invest in the country. This has raised US$3.6 billion, according to Dawn.

The Pak-ID app which handles face biometrics and fingerprints as well as document scanning has been used by 137,000 people for remote, contactless biometric verification in the last few months, Malik said.

Other services continue to roll out. Pakistan’s online visa system is now operational in 84 countries and more than 600,000 applications have been processed. Power of attorney for overseas Pakistanis will soon be linked to NADRA, and the newly-improved complaints system also has a “super escalation feature” where complaints can go directly to the chairman.

Participants at the conference also heard how five percent of the population lives abroad and send $30 billion in remittances each year.

Biometric proof of life for pensioners

Islamabad-linked Pakistani pensioners in will have to visit a bank branch to biometrically prove they are still alive and eligible for pension payments – every six months, reports the Associated Press of Pakistan.

The government has launched a biometric verification service (BVS) linked to the banking system, NADRA and the Accountant General Pakistan Revenue (AGPR). This will only apply to pensioners connected to the Islamabad AGPR.

Pensioners can visit any branch of the bank that holds the account where the pension is paid in. If they were unable to attend, for example due to illness, a “life certificate signed by a person authorized” could be used, according to the report.

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