Veridium awarded grant to develop fingerprint tech in developing countries

Biometric-based identity access management solutions provider Veridium has received a grant from the Digital Financial Services Innovation Lab to develop and field test biometric authentication technology on unmodified smartphones, with the goal of improving access to financial and government programs for people in developing countries. The Digital Financial Services Innovation Lab is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The grant allows Veridium to introduce a pilot program allowing fingerprint verification to be instantly deployed at no marginal cost.

“Access to these types of services is pertinent for low-income and developing populations, as they often lack valid identity documents,” Veridium said in a statement. “The lack of dependable identification infrastructure creates an opening for additional issues, including fraudulent financial activities, money laundering and the diversion of government resources.”

“We are excited to have been chosen by the Digital Financial Services Innovation Lab and the Gates Foundation to participate in this groundbreaking pilot program,” Veridium CEO James Stickland said. “We look forward to being able to make a true and lasting impact on developing nations in their effort to enroll and authenticate individuals in financial and government programs.”

James Stickland

James Stickland

Veridium’s 4 Fingers TouchlessID captures four fingerprints at once by using a phone’s rear camera and flash. The complexity of the data generated by four fingerprints makes it harder to spoof. Veridium will use part of the grant to develop liveness detection capability which prevents the use of photographed fingerprints by capturing two pictures of the fingers, each from a different angle.

Veridium solutions are built using IEEE 2410, the Biometric Open Protocol Standard, and with Visual Cryptography, a type of encryption that breaks up a biometric image into multiple pieces, with the pixels randomly distributed between the mobile phone and server.