Biometrics and digital ID in Africa this week: Data protection trailblazers and new offerings

Biometrics news from Africa is already revealing a shift from reports of the COVID-19 virus leading to shutdowns of biometric verification platforms, to adapting and acquiring new systems, from a 400 percent increase in demand for UnionCommunity contactless verification in Egypt , to Rwandan banks pushing for remote KYC. Meanwhile, articles from the ID4Africa movement continue to emerge in lieu of the summit which has been postponed. Of note is a look at the huge strides data protection agencies are making in terms of creating legislation and making it palatable to their populations.

Rwanda : Is COVID-19 an opportunity for digital ID and remote banking?

Equity Bank customers can open bank accounts on their mobiles without visiting a branch, reports The New Times . The Eazzy Banking service operates as an app on smartphones or via USSD menus on more basic handsets. The bank is expecting the coronavirus outbreak to mean increased uptake of the service.

Another bank, I&M Bank Rwanda has partnered with Norway’s Blockbonds to use its SPENN mobile banking app platform, built on blockchain. It is not clear whether customers need to open the initial I&M Bank account in person first to clear KYC.

Zimbabwe : Security firm selling facial recognition systems for touch-free access

Safeguard Security is selling security equipment that uses facial recognition to allow touch-free access to properties for a stored list of contacts, reports TechZim .

Users upload photographs of themselves which are analysed to create a template on a database which can handle up to 6,000 individuals. The cameras then scan for people approaching within three meters of the access door and can even scan the faces of people looking down at a mobile phone.

Egypt: Commercial International Bank app on Huawei’s AppGallery

The Huawei Consumer Business Group has announced a strategic partnership with the Commercial International Bank to launch Egypt’s first mobile banking app on Huawei app store AppGallery, reports Egypt Today .

The app uses biometric verification with all the processing done on the Huawei handset. The app is a result of collaboration between both parties and is on the AppGallery which Huawei was forced to launch when the Trump administration stopped Google from supplying Google Mobile Services to the Chinese manufacturer.

Kenya : Biometrics the most popular anti-fraud technological tool Biometrics are the most popular technological tool in the fight against fraud, with 34 percent of business respondents to a PwC […]

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