Veridium, a leader in strong authentication solutions using biometrics instead of passwords and tokens, today announced it has won a $150,000 grant from Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS), supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to bring universal and affordable financial services to emerging countries across the globe.
Veridium was awarded this grant after successfully completing the first DFS Lab Biometrics Challenge. The Challenge supported developing secure, software-based technologies which can capture and verify fingerprints using only the sensors (i.e. camera) on an unmodified Android smartphone. The grant will be used to further the work, developing a mobile app to make it even easier to enroll and match people against existing government databases. This will bring greater transparency and security into the distribution of government aid and money.
“We’re glad to announce this investment in Veridium and see their 4 fingers touchless biometrics identification as an important step toward financial inclusion,” said Jake Kendall, DFS Lab Director. “Their technology allows biometrics to be deployed over billions of existing smartphones reaching into low income and rural populations all over the world. We’re looking forward to helping Veridium further their work and bring it to market.”
The company was previously awarded an initial grant from DFS Lab in September 2017 to launch a pilot program with Wala, a South African-based, blockchain-powered financial services platform, to demonstrate a new digital banking model using biometric authentication technology.
With Veridium’s 4 Fingers Export, users can capture fingerprint biometrics touchlessly on any unmodified Android smartphone for convenient, quick, and secure identification. The process enables users to export the print to match against a legacy government database. This can be part of a KYC process for identity proofing a new account, reducing fraud, and providing access to people in rural areas where physical bank branches are not feasible.
“Winning the grant from DFS Lab has enabled us to be one step closer to our goal of disrupting the current banking model, which currently excludes billions of people around the world just because they lack identity documents,” said Lori Cohen, CMO, Veridium. “Our goal is to help design a new banking model, using our biometric authentication technology to bring the unbanked into the financial services system. Additionally, over time, improve their circumstances, making it possible to open a bank account, apply for credit, and achieve a level of financial stability.”
Veridium’s technology provides the ability to enroll and authenticate customers remotely and securely, using biometrics. Veridium is the first company to develop a multi-finger touchless biometric authentication system that works on unmodified smartphones. The quality of the prints is equivalent to those captured on tradition flatbed scanners, making it the most reliable and flexible option for remotely enrolling and authenticating customers.