Mexico's Banco Azteca has implemented a fingerprint-based authentication system from California-based Digital Persona which has enabled it to register millions of customers that previously didn't have a bank account.
Digital Persona says its biometric technology has allowed 75% of Banco Azteca customers to establish and maintain savings and credit accounts for the first time.
Most of the bank's customers are from low income communities and do not have drivers' licences or other secure forms of identification. The vendor says Banco Azteca parent company Grupo Elektra worked with its partner in Mexico City to integrate its Platinum Software Development Kit (SDK) with the bank's applications so that customers without traditional forms of identification could be registered.
The system has eliminated account holders' need for ID cards and allows Banco Azteca to authenticate large numbers of users accurately and quickly.
Since February 2001 the bank has registered over eight million customers. Digital Persona says registration is currently increasing at a rate of approximately 10,000 users each day and its software processes an average of 200,000 fingerprint matches daily across Banco Azteca's 1440 branch locations in Latin America.
Juan Arevalo, director of systems, Banco Azteca, says: "Using Digital Persona's fingerprint-based authentication technology, Banco Azteca has been able to open economic advancement opportunities to millions of people who previously lacked a reliable, if any means of identification and were subject to identity theft."
Digital Persona CEO Fabio Righi, says the technology "is opening new economic avenues for people who, traditionally, have been underserved".