Why the banks biometric project will become another separate and harrowing identification scheme.

Filed under: National Issues |

Just recently, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Mr. Umaru Ibrahim announced to the general public at a seminar for finance journalists in Dutse, Jigawa State capital, that Nigerian banks under the auspices of the Bankers Committee, will soon commence a biometric data capture exercise for all customers in the banking sector.

Knowing that there is currently no centralized national identity database and no system of National Identity Management which efficiently links public and private sector identity schemes in Nigeria, not withstanding that the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, recently came up with a biometrically enabled National Identity System, the biometric project of the banks would have been a great news.

However, while the financial services sector has been most proactive in the deployment of identification schemes for delivery of its services, the schemes have differed from institution to institution within the sector. The result has been the creation of several different identification schemes and databases leading to the duplication of an individual’s identity data by the various institutions offering services to that person. Government agencies also hold a number of databases with no viable integration of access or interoperability to enhance the delivery of services within these government institutions. This is despite the fact that some of these institutions have introduced smart card technology into their schemes. A reliable national system for verification and secure authentication of an individual’s identity has thus not been established.

Now what we don’t want is a biometric identification war from our financial institutions like they did the demographics by duplicating individual’s identity data, not mentioning that the customers whom they are edging to provide a more robust and easier identification system to, is going to be driven into another jaw breaking strenuous exercise. The only way this system will be beneficial to the customers is when its interoperable by all banks.

The banks has to select biometrics feature set as the primary method to check for duplicate identity. For financial service providers to authenticate the identity at the time of service delivery, it is necessary that the biometric information capture and transmission are standardized across all the partners and users of the system, taking cognizance of the appropriate biometrics parameters. This encompasses best practices, expected accuracy, interoperability, conformity and performance in biometrics standards. Beside this, it will be a waste of time for the sectors as well as Nigerians.

The big question is, if the financial services sector are eager to come up with a biometric system of data collection, what happened to the National Identity Management System by NIMC?



2 Responses to Why the banks biometric project will become another separate and harrowing identification scheme.

  1. All these BIOMETRIC noise will go nowhere and will never be used for any meaningful venture. Is it to identify fraudsters or what? Many of the fraud in the banking sector have been traced to individuals but they remain at large. The fraudsters will always escape the hook. I WEEP FOR MY COUNTRY

    project Nigeria
    November 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    • This is the one thing that i think you and i will agree. This is going to become another discomforting process for bank customers. This government is filled with wastages. I also weep for Nigeria, my country.

      November 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm