Innovative biometric smart card system aims to enhance efficiency and security in Nigeria

The integration of biometric smart payment cards into existing systems aims to eradicate delays and curb fraudulent activities.

Biometric scanner

Nigeria plans to modernize its digital payment infrastructure, particularly healthcare, and agriculture, by partnering with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) with eGate Technology, a biometric technology company. This collaboration aims to deploy technologies like AI for payments, electronic medical records, and telemedicine.

The partnership involves creating biometric smart payment cards that integrate with existing systems, reducing delays and fraud. This will aid in medical consultations, applying for loans, or purchasing farm inputs. Their commitment involves establishing an all-inclusive digital identity smart card system. This system will create biometric digital identities for citizens, linking them to their electronic profiles for financial transactions.

The services will be accessible through a mobile app. NASRDA’s partnership with eGate also includes GS Group, focusing on RFID technology and intelligent traffic management. These efforts align with the government’s national digital ID program, which has enrolled over 101 million individuals, although recent enrollment figures have decreased.

Why does it matter?

The initiative’s comprehensive digital identity system can promote financial inclusion, enabling citizen economic participation. Yet, concerns arise about data privacy and security due to biometric identities. Risk of exclusion exists for marginalized groups due to ID barriers or tech access. Effective planning, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring will be vital to address these issues.