Kenya’s Equity bank has already began the process of collecting all its customers fingerprints to curb fraud, and will be used to verify over-the –counter withdrawals as well as ATM transactions.
The only verification documents that are currently used in the Kenyan banking system is either the customers’ national ID, passport as well as signatures; and even through this documents banks have reported losses of up to Ksh. 1.6 billion. The losses have been attributed to poor controls by lenders.
The Chief Executive of the Kenya Bankers association, Habil Olaka, said that the industry did not have a requirement for banks to move to biometric identification. He also said that he expected the technology to become standard given that debate has been going on in the sector.
The retail structure of the bank exposes its tellers to high fraud attempts, with cases of some customers denying that they carried out transactions in their accounts.
Equity isn’t the only bank that has chosen to go biometric, as Barclay bank, since September this year, has been using this technology for their its corporate customers. Barclays is also looking into adapting this technology throughout its system by the end of 2015.
Apart from the banking industry, the use of biometrics has been used during the 2012 elections and the immigration department as well as in the insurance industry to curb medical fraud. Patients have to scan their prints at hospitals to verify payment of medical services.