More than one billion people in the world lack any form of legal identification and almost half of these are living in Sub-Saharan Africa. This prevents them from accessing life-enhancing digital and financial services. There is a clear role for biometrics to bridge this gap in emerging markets, if attainable at low affordability and low-end technology. This creates opportunities for digital and financial inclusion and places mobile devices at the heart of reducing existing barriers.
To answer this question, the Inclusive Tech Lab is working with the operators to understand the existing problems related to biometrics and what would be the appropriate solution to demonstrate the potential of using biometrics. The purpose is to highlight the advantages of using affordable technologies and show the return that such solutions can provide for emerging markets. This would offer the opportunity to trial and integrate different solutions, showing the benefits of biometrics and promoting digital inclusion for all.
This workstream is currently focusing on the use of voice recognition through different use cases (e.g. user enrollment, IVR navigation, system authentication, SIM reactivation, etc.). Voice was the starting point due to the fact that mobile devices of all types come ready with a microphone, eliminating the need for additional hardware and meeting the premise of low price and low-tech. The asset is still in early stages, but soon you will hear more from us.