Words of the Week: Biometrics and Biometric Card

>Posted by Anita Gardeva
Words of the Week:
BiometricsTechnology for recognizing individuals based on physical traits, such as fingerprints. Used as a form of identification and access control.
Biometric CardA card that uses biometric technology to identify and authenticate the card user.

Generally biometric cards use fingerprints to validate that the cardholder is the card owner.  Biometric cards serve as effective identification cards for individuals who lack other forms of formal identification, or are illiterate.  Biometric cards can be combined with smart cards to prevent use of the card in financial transactions by individuals who are not the card owner, making transactions more secure.
Spotlight Quote: “Before any notion of biometrics or other such front-end technologies are entertained, MFIs need to ensure that adequate and efficient core management information systems (MIS) are in place, says Normand Arsenault, a global IT systems consultant and microfinance specialist. The risk of not doing so, he says, is that investments in technology will simply add costs without improving scalability, productivity and services to customers.”
Suggested Resource: Steve Whalen, with contributions from CGAP Staff and echange LLC., “Biometrics Technology,” CGAP IT Innovation Series.
For more financial inclusion terms, please visit the Financial Inclusion Glossary.
For more information, sign up for updates from the Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign.
Flickr credit: didbygraham

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