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NADRA creates alternative to biometrics for elderly people with faded fingerprints

NADRA creates alternative to biometrics for elderly people with faded fingerprints

Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is establishing a new identity verification service for elderly individuals whose fingerprints have faded to the point of not being recognized by biometric scanners.

Called the “Tasdeeq service” and spotted by the Pakistan Daily Times, the initiative “envisages alternate identity verification for above 60 citizens,” initially for banking, but NADRA has not excluded other applications.

The Tasdeeq service was created to answer senior citizens’ complaints after they experienced difficulties verifying their identities with biometric scanners due to decreased skin elasticity and faded fingerprints from age.

The identity verification process includes individuals answering personal questions for their identity verification to bypass biometrics through artificial intelligence (AI) technology, said NADRA chairman Muhammad Tariq Malik at the launching ceremony of the Tasdeeq service last Thursday.

More specifically, the process will see citizens being asked three personal questions in two attempts. To pass verification and skip biometric verification, individuals must answer all three questions correctly in at least one of the two attempts.

The executive also confirmed the initiative is already supported by five banks: MCB, Allied Bank, Bank Al Falah, Bank of Khyber, and Soneri Bank. Other banks, including National Bank, Askari Bank, First Women Bank Limited, and Khushali Bank, reportedly underwent a final test last week.

It is still being determined at the time of writing when the latter institutions will officially adopt the Tasdeeq service or when the initiative will be extended to other sectors other than banking.

Difficulties in collecting fingerprint biometrics from laborers and elderly people in Pakistan were reported when the government was distributing emergency benefits in 2020.

The move comes amidst an eventful first half of January for NADRA, who recently delivered 17,600 tablets to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) as part of a digital census initiative.

More recently, NADRA introduced a new biometric patient ID verification system to improve transparency in the collection and transplantation of organs in the country’s hospitals.

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