Biometric verification has been one of Pakistan’s greatest technology updates in recent times, with NADRA being a champion of this technology with regards to their national campaign, followed by the telecom companies. However, like any new technology introduction, especially at mass level, this brought its set of challenges, coupled with several unanswered queries on the consumer side.
InstaScan, a Karachi-based tech startup lets one do biometric authentication without any hardware through their smartphone. All one has to do is simply put their finger in front of the rear camera and the software will automatically capture a picture and then process it into a NADRA quality fingerprint image.
They started out in 2016 when veterans from fintech and payments joined hands and launched with Paysys Labs, a technology company working on mobile app development and other digital solutions for mainly financial industry.
However, it is to be noted that this is not a direct business-to-consumer product and can only be accessed by InstaScan’s partner companies which have adopted it. Therefore, rather than being an app on its own, the solution is integrated with other apps where it works on the SaaS model.
Speaking to the local news of how the founder Karim Jindani came up with the idea for InstaScan said,
“Back in 2015 when the telcos were ordered to get all their customers’ biometrics verified, it took me a month after they blocked my number to finally go to a customer service and restore my SIM card. If there was a simpler way, all of that delay could have been avoided.”
InstaScan has also recently partnered with JS Bank for mobile wallet customer verification by authenticate biometric data. The app has been incorporated into the JS Bank app. The way it works it that one has to enter their CNIC number and capture fingerprint(s) using InstaScan, which will be sent to the bank to be then forwarded to NADRA servers where the details will be verified.
Speaking of about the obstacles with their app, the CEO said,
“NADRA by law can only give access to telcos and financial institutions, and we are neither. So our process has to be routed through the bank, which is authorized to access NADRA data.”
According to him, this leaves the startup restricted to only two industries and leaves the others underserved.
According to Karim InstaScan is not looking for investments as its source of revenue is that it works on a usage-based model with a certain fee per verification.
Image source: Paysys Labs