Monday, August 24, 2009

Interswitch, Precise Biometrics strike N42m deal

Precise Biometrics and Interswitch Limited, have entered into a partnership deal for fingerprint recognition solutions worth €200,000, about N42 million.

Managing Director, Interswitch, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe, said in Lagos, the aim is to supply fingerprint recognition with Precise Match-on-Card to bank applications.
The partnership, he said, is already engaged in a first project, which would provide license sales at a minimum of €200,000, about N42,000,000.

He noted that through this partnership Precise Biometrics and Interswitch aim at building and promoting biometric Match-on-Card solutions for the banking segment on the continent.

The solutions, he also said, would initially target Nigeria, which is the most populated country in Africa with more than 150 million inhabitants.

He recalled that Nigerian banks are migrating from magstripe cards to the more secure chip cards in order to gradually eliminate the incidence of magstripe fraud in the banking sector.

The new chip and Personal Identification Number (PIN) cards comply with global EMV standards and government had given the banks a deadline to replace all magstripe cards with chip-based smart cards by June 2009.

He explained that to enable banks migrate faster, Interswitch has introduced the Verve card into the market, just as the new card has both international and local security features.

Interswitch’s partnership with Precise Biometrics, he said, affords it the opportunity to provide finger print recognition and Match-on-Card features on its card offering Verve.

“These features will further ensure that bonafide cardholders can make card present and offline transactions. With fingerprint recognition and Match-on-Card, banks, governments and organizations can increase internal security through personnel verification and KYE (Know Your Employee),” he said.

Interswitch, Elegbe said, is pleased to enter into this partnership as Precise Biometrics is the leading provider of biometric Match-on-Card solutions, he believes that the joint efforts and technological know-how would have great commercial potential in the West African region.

Unlike existing biometric solutions, Elegbe pointed out that due to fluctuations in power and communications, do not accurately match fingerprints on network devices, external servers or databases, while Precise’s Match-On-Card solution works seamlessly to ensure to eliminate this problem.

“Interswitch decided to collaborate with Precise Biometrics because of the potential to jointly provide accurate payment identification and authentication solutions in Nigeria,” Elegbe declared. 

Equally commenting, the chief executive officer, Precise Biometrics, Mr. Thomas Marshall, said his firm is delighted to have come to an agreement with Interswitch, which would place Precise Biometrics in a prime position to capture the rising biometric opportunities within the financial sector in the sub-region.
“The partnership is strengthened by our ongoing National ID card projects and we have substantial commercial expectations for the partnership in 2010 and onwards,” Mr. Marshall said. 

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