Fingerprint, facial and iris biometric modalities are part of the AI and machine learning-based identity management systems technology of Switzerland-based TECH5, a company with customers in 20 countries.

Indonesia (288 million people), Ethiopia (127 million people) and Turkey (85 million people) are among the countries that use TECH5 to power their national ID systems. For these customers, TECH5 provided large biometric systems used to build closed-loop databases of foundational identification systems—the authoritative source of identity information for the general population—and integrates with those databases the credentials management to handle proof of identity.

Top private sector customers include banks, large telecom companies and identity verification service providers. Visa has become a partner and will work with TECH5 in building programs for governments.

TECH5 and Visa will collaborate on the intersection of payments and digital identity management in emerging markets. They have discussed several use cases including integrating an account at a Visa bank client for disbursements and payments with governmental ID systems.

Also being considered is a super app (a digital ID wallet) as part of a country’s digital infrastructure that would facilitate onboarding citizens and non-residents in any country and enabling them to utilize a Visa payment service through various digital channels.

TECH5’s ability to prove an identity offline using biometrics opens up possibilities for financial inclusion, including executing a payment without a consumer using a high-security card or a phone with a secure element. Banks could issue a paper card imprinted with a 2D barcode image that can contain their biometric information and payment credentials in an encrypted format.

A merchant could use its phone to scan the card and then take a photo of the consumer’s face or obtain their fingerprints to confirm a match of the person with a payment account. Use cases could also include a one-time voucher.

The TECH5 software platform or an SDK can also be used to capture fingerprints using a phone’s back camera and use that biometric to replace a one-time password for out-of-band authentications. It could also be integrated with an existing bank app and used for KYC (know your customer) compliance.

Other use cases include digital ID issuance, an ID wallet and management of the database. There are countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia that want national databases that can be leveraged for payments and disbursements for both intracountry and cross-border payments with neighbouring countries. Payment companies including Visa want to leverage these single-source, trusted national databases.


Rahul Parthe is Chief Technology Officer at TECH5 Group in Troy, Michigan

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