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How biometrics can fuel inclusive growth in Nigeria’s ICT sector

How biometrics can fuel inclusive growth in Nigeria’s ICT sector

Gur Geva, founder and CEO at iiDENTIFii, a biometric authentication platform has said Nigeria is at an inflection point where it needs to adopt enabling technologies at scale to support high growth in the telecommunications and digital sectors.

In a recent statement, Geva said using the right technology as a catalyst; these sectors can support financial inclusion and widespread economic growth.

“Biometric technology is a crucial consideration in Nigeria’s ongoing digital expansion. If financial institutions, telecommunications companies and the public sector adopt enterprise-grade biometric authentication, they can provide services to their consumers safely, efficiently and at scale,” he said.

He added that historically, biometric identification has been for the privileged few – the technologically advanced with access to hi-tech, leading-edge equipment – providing access to services that are typically not for the digitally excluded.

“However, remote digital biometric authentication has a crucial role in bridging the digital divide. The digitally excluded are missing out on access. Without access, the keys to both social and financial inclusion are unreachable.

“Those who do not have access to newer technologies are disadvantaged in healthcare, education and financial support. These areas have a significant negative impact on an individual’s overall quality of life. For this reason, we actively consider unserved and underserved communities in our solutions,” he explained.

Recent figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission shows that the number of active mobile subscriptions in the country reached about 222,571 million in December 2022 and teledensity of 116.60 percent.

“This level of digital adoption needs to be met with intentional digital security measures. Added to this, Nigeria’s recent greylisting provides an opportunity to interrogate cyber security in the region and how biometric authentication can deter financial crime,” the iiDENTIFii statement said.

The tech startup revealed that they are in the process of rolling out its offering in over 20 countries across Africa following increased demand from both new and existing clients who require a trusted identity verification (IDV) partner in various jurisdictions.

“Biometric authentication technology is changing how we identify ourselves with our mobile devices. Using leading technologies, companies such as iiDENTIFii ensure that banks, insurers, telecommunications companies and government institutions are certain that the person on the other end of the screen is identifiable, verifiable and human,” it said.

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Geva adds as the only IDV company in Africa that provides enterprise-grade level services, they understand the far-reaching benefit of biometrics in protecting the assets of companies and consumers and fighting financial crime.

“We believe the requirement for digitised biometric authentication in Africa is immense. The region is a sleeping giant when it comes to accessing traditional bank accounts, digital banking, and affordable financial services.”

He said they applaud Nigeria’s focus on digital literacy in the country and are proud to say we are one of the only IDVs that can operate on mobile devices that aren’t smartphones.”

“Nigeria’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector and overall online activity will continue to grow exponentially. Trusting and authenticating the digital identity of individuals communicating and transacting online will continue to become more and more paramount and essential.

“Nigeria’s ICT sector is making great strides in enabling growth and literacy. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with industry and government stakeholders to drive safety and positive change,” he concluded.