Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services today announced plans to launch the region’s first biometric payment network, supported by the Labour Fund “Tamkeen”, providing new and more efficient alternative for customers to conduct many of their financial transactions.
When implemented, Ithmaar Bank customers will no longer be required to use their bank cards at ATMs. Instead, they will simply be able to use their fingerprint along with their PIN to process financial transactions. This provides a simpler, more secure way to process financial transactions than ever before. In future, this may also include points of sale.
Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Chief Executive, Khalid Al Rumaihi, commented: “With this announcement Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services are truly showcasing Bahrain as a hub for innovation, specifically in the financial services industry. This partnership comes in line with our strategy to encourage innovation that supports high value job creation in the Kingdom. Bahrain’s forward -thinking regulatory approach provides an attractive environment for FinTech – particularly in areas such as Islamic finance and payments. We look forward to welcoming more home-grown initiatives such as this.”
Praising the initiative, Tamkeen Chief Executive Dr. Ebrahim Janahi said: “Tamkeen’s support for the FinTech industry comes as part of our efforts to support enterprises across stages of development and making the private sector a key driver of economic growth. We believe Ithmaar Bank and Eazy are both well ahead of the curve, and this strategic initiative will result in a major positive change in the Kingdom’s economy and capital market.”
Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Executive Director, Khalid Hamad, said: “This very forward-looking partnership is proof that FinTech initiatives are delivering tangible, real-world results – ahead of similar initiatives across the region - while maintaining the overall safety and soundness of the financial system in Bahrain.”
The platform, developed by Eazy Financial Services, is built on a powerful Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) one of the most reliable and trusted biometric engines which is deployed and implemented in many countries around the world for both civil and forensic applications. Eazy Financial Services adopts a rigorous “Identification Algorithm” which has earned the highest honours by several standards organizations and authorities.
Praising the initiative, Tamkeen CEO Dr. Ebrahim Janahi said: “Tamkeen’s support for the FinTech industry comes as part of our efforts to support enterprises across stages of development and making the private sector a key driver of economic growth. We believe Ithmaar Bank and Eazy are both well ahead of the curve, and this strategic initiative will result in a major positive change in the Kingdom’s economy and capital market.”
Ithmaar Bank CEO, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said: “As part of our Digital Strategy, we continue to invest heavily in technology that provides our customers a more convenient, simpler and more secure way to conduct their financial transactions. Our customers are tech-savvy and expect friction-less access to banking services - and the introduction of biometrics is another major step that direction. We are leading the financial industry with this new, tangible solution which is a real-time example of how we put innovation and our customers at the forefront of everything we do.”
Eazy Financial Services CEO, Khaled Al Ahli, said: “Payments stand out as the single largest driver for the biometrics market. We are driving biometric verification in the region, which is the future of the financial industry.
“As a local Bahraini start-up, we are extremely proud to bring a regional first solution from Bahrain, in partnership with a renowned local bank. Going forward, biometrics for financial products and services are expected to represent one third of the total market for biometric solutions in 2020,” he continued.
The agreement is a result of the financial support of Tamkeen, with the support of the EDB and CBB, and will see the new Biometric Payment Network available in phases for Ithmaar Bank customers as early as Q1 2019.