Ithmaar Bank is set to launch the first biometric payment network in Bahrain using a platform developed by Eazy Financial Services.
The platform to be deployed by Ithmaar Bank will be built on an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), which is a biometric engine deployed and implemented in various countries for both forensic and civil applications.
According to the Bahraini Islamic retail bank, the biometric solution, which is being implemented as part of its digital strategy, will give customers a safer, much easier and more secure way to bank.
Ithmaar Bank said that once the biometric payment network is implemented, its customers will no longer need to use their bank cards at ATMs. Rather, they can just use their fingerprint along with their PIN to carry out financial transactions.
The Bahraini bank believes that the new method will make processing of financial transactions simpler and more secured than before. The bank is mulling at the prospect of implementing the biometric payment system to cover points of sale as well.
Ithmaar Bank CEO Ahmed Abdul Rahim said: “Our customers are tech-savvy and expect friction-less access to banking services – and the introduction of biometrics is another major step that direction.
“We are leading the financial industry with this new, tangible solution which is a real-time example of how we put innovation and our customers at the forefront of everything we do.”
The agreement between Ithmaar Bank and Eazy Financial Services to launch the biometric payment network is financially supported by Tamkeen, a labor fund in Bahrain.
Tamkeen, which in turn is supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), will help in making the new biometric payment network of Ithmaar Bank available in a phased manner to the Islamic retail bank’s customers as early as the first quarter of 2019.
Eazy Financial Services CEO Khaled Al Ahli said: “Payments stand out as the single largest driver for the biometrics market. We are driving biometric verification in the region, which is the future of the financial industry.
“As a local Bahraini start-up, we are extremely proud to bring a regional first solution from Bahrain, in partnership with a renowned local bank.”