No cards, no PINs: Development Credit Bank to roll out iris-recognition tech
In the next couple of months, residents of Chennai or visitors to the city would be able to draw cash from a DC Bank ATM by just looking into its eye-piece, without using an ATM card or a PIN. Of course, they must have cash in their accounts!
Development Credit Bank, a private sector scheduled bank with 176 branches and 400 ATMs across India, will pioneer biometric iris-recognised cash withdrawal from ATMs by using technology developed indigenously by an Indian company. Apart from Chennai, this bank would subsequently roll out new ATMs at other places in India, including Mumbai, Tamaal Roy, CEO, Biomatiques Identification Solutions Pvt Ltd, which has provided the affordable iris recognition technology, toldBusinessLine.
Others banks will, of course, also follow suit. ATM cards and their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are set to turn obsolete, he said. “We are already in talks with ATM makers, banks and others concerned in this regard.”
Roy, 49, said his firm is also in touch with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Asian Paints and Godrej for supply of iris scanners for their various requirements. “JLR is expected to launch its iris-recognising vehicles by 2019-20.”
The Surat-based company, whose motto is ‘Eyes Never Lie’, is India’s only company to have developed this technology indigenously and among the two approved by the government to supply iris scanners in India, the other firm being South Korea’s IriTech. Biomatiques, which commands 90 per cent of the India market in this segment, is among the 13 companies working on this technology globally.
With finger-printing turning obsolete, iris-scanning has emerged as the preferred mode for a person’s identification. Currently, India needs nearly two crore iris scanners. Various government schemes such as MNREGA, Aadhar cards, insurance claims, pensions, subsidies, ration cards and school attendance would also require integration with iris-identification.
Andhra Pradesh became the first state to use iris identification solutions for enrolment of citizens. For this, it engaged Wipro, which, in turn, procured 40,000 iris scanners from Biomatiques in November 2015. Biomatiques has also provided about 1,000 units to Rajasthan. The company has an order book of 25,000 units from Andhra Pradesh and 8,000 from Rajasthan.
While imported iris scanners are expensive, costing around $2,000 (Rs 1.30 lakh) apiece, those developed indigenously by Biomatiques are priced at just Rs 4,500, Roy said. No wonder, the company was among those found eligible for assistance under the Rs 10,000 crore fund-of-funds scheme rolled out by the Centre in June under its Make In India initiative.
As demand picks up, the company would increase its daily manufacturing capacity at its Surat plant from 1,000 units of iris scanners by 20 to 30 times within a couple of months, Roy said.
He said a face portrait building software developed by the company is the only identity kit software certified by the Bureau of Police Research and Development and the Central Bureau of Investment. It is used all over the country by the police to prepare sketches of the accused, based on witness accounts. Biomatiques’ solutions also find applications in monitoring time, attendance, access control, social security, healthcare and law and enforcement, among others.
A textile engineer by profession, Roy, a self-trained computer professional in IT and biometrics domains, has also developed a range of products for security and identification/recognition segment. These solutions, developed using patented hardware and copyrighted iris feature extraction and matching algorithms, include standalone and cluster products, provide security solutions for individuals, townships, government departments and from small-medium enterprises to large corporations.
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