South African firm develops biometrics service
15 May 2017 16:34 GMT

South African tech company Bytes Systems Integration plans to offer a new biometrics as a service product, describing it as “game-changing” for the domestic market.

The company says the product, BioVault, will enable a broad range of financial services providers access to the power of biometrics.

The cloud-based service model will allow companies to rent devices for capturing biometric information, as well as demographic information, a photograph, a signature and relevant documentation.

All of this information is encrypted and stored centrally in Bytes data centres within South Africa's borders, reports ITWeb.

Once an individual is enrolled in the BioVault, the information can be used to facilitate further financial transactions with the same individual because it is securely linked to his or her biometrics.

"Biometrics offer the best way to identify people safely and help reduce fraud," Nick Perkins, divisional director, identity management solutions, Bytes Systems Integration, told the magazine.

 "But a fully-fledged biometric solution represents a sizable upfront capital investment, the risk of choosing the wrong technology and the burden of ongoing maintenance and support. BioVault provides a compelling alternative because it offers a ready-made solution that can be implemented fast, and paid for on a consumption basis, as a purely operational (rather than capital) expense. Most CFOs prefer incurring operational rather than capital expenses."

Perkin points out that in South Africa, banks are now permitted to link identity with biometric information by linking to the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS), but this option is not available to other members of the financial services sector, such as retailers and telecommunications providers, or companies in other sectors.

"BioVault offers a solution for any company or organisation that needs to obtain and store biometric information for employees, customers or even citizens in order to facilitate better, more secure delivery of services," Perkins says.