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Nigeria: Biometric banking receives $50 million boost

February 19, 2014 • Software, Top Stories, West Africa

Group photo at the opening ceremony of the DERMALOG biometric system for Nigeria's banks - including the Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (centre), and the CEO of DERMALOG, Günther Mull (second from left). (Image source: Dermalog Identification Systems)

Group photo at the opening ceremony of the DERMALOG biometric system for Nigeria’s banks – including the Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (centre), and the CEO of DERMALOG, Günther Mull (second from left). (Image source: Dermalog Identification Systems)

The first phase of a national biometric system rollout for Nigeria’s financial system is operational. The technology to identify all bank customers by fingerprint is being supplied by DERMALOG Identification Systems.

On Valentine’s Day, the pilot phase of the most comprehensive biometric project in Nigerian history was launched in Lagos. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, launched the biometric identification system for bank customers at a ceremony. This will in future enable the customers of all Nigerian banks to identify themselves at ATMs or at the checkout using their fingerprint so they can withdraw money or pay for goods. “Within the next year and a half, we will roll out the project in all banks nationwide,” says Sanusi. “Thanks to the latest biometric technology, this will give Nigeria one of the most convenient and secure financial systems in the world.”

The biometric system is supplied by company DERMALOG Identification Systems from Germany, which won an international tender by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the 50 million dollar project in autumn 2013.

Nigerian Central Bank Governeor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.   (Image Credit: World Economic Forum)

Nigerian Central Bank Governeor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
(Image Credit: World Economic Forum)


The DERMALOG system will now enable Nigerian banks to identify their customers correctly without the risk of forgery. It will therefore make a significant contribution in guarding against misuse in the financial sector and preventing money laundering and fraud by means of identity theft and fake identities. In addition, the use of fingerprints for identification will allow access to electronic monetary transactions for people with a low standard of education, as biometrics makes the use of banking easier.

“Fraud is one of the biggest challenges in the Nigerian banking sector,” says Guenther Mull, CEO of DERMALOG. “Thanks to secure and convenient fingerprint identification, in future it will no longer be possible to fake and misuse identities. This will solve one of the most pressing problems for the Central Bank of Nigeria. We are proud to support the bank in this endeavour.” It will also make life easier for bank customers – in future they will not have to remember any PIN numbers or passwords and will simply place their finger on the reader. “Biometric technology therefore also greatly simplifies the lives of bank customers,” says Mull.

Thanks to ongoing developments and innovations, DERMALOG’s biometric technologies are now being used to provide greater security in over 110 major government installations in more than 60 countries. Thus, the Hamburg-based manufacturer is a world leader in the field of fingerprint biometrics and AFIS. The biometrics company provides both the software and the world’s most secure fingerprint scanners thanks to cutting-edge liveness detection, and is now the market leader in this area of sensor development and production in Europe and many other parts of the world.

The wide product range of the biometrics manufacturer, combined with innovative technology and high-quality products, as well as the modular structure of its solutions, enables DERMALOG to adapt systems to meet individual customer requirements and to implement them successfully within a short period of time. DERMALOG is able to offer turnkey solutions and to integrate these, but often works jointly with local system integrators.

In addition to banks, DERMALOG technology is also in use in national border control systems and biometric identity cards and passports and of course as a biometric log-in method for computers. The aim is always to create a quick and simple process which at the same time provides more security.

DERMALOG Identification Systems GmbH, based in Hamburg, is the largest German biometrics manufacturer and is a world leader in biometric identification. A team of scientists and computer scientists works continually on new, innovative products. The company’s product portfolio ranges from biometric border controls and biometric ID cards to new “finger login” and “finger payment” solutions. As well as Germany and Europe, Dermalog’s main markets are Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Staff Writer

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