ZKTeco plans biometrics research center and Trulioo adds Nigeria and Ghana to boost development goals

ZKTeco is planning to establish a regional hub for its biometrics business in Sub-Saharan Africa, along with a research and development center in Nigeria, Punch reports.

The R&D center will be located at the University of Lagos, where the company hopes to recruit local talent to build solutions on its platform.

ZKTeco President and Founder John Che revealed the news to reporters in Lagos, along with local partner SB Telecoms & Devices Ltd. SB Telecoms has represented ZKTeco in Nigeria and West Africa for about eight years.

Che told the audience that its geographic position, population and market size make it an attractive continental hub. He also acknowledged government efforts to transform the economy as a factor.

“ZKTeco already has a presence in South Africa and Egypt, but based on our growth objectives and the fact that Africa has a strong growth prospect, we decided to increase our stake in Africa. And we identified Nigeria as the epicentre of Africa, representing the strongest growth prospect on the continent, with opportunities to collaborate on its identity management and biometrics standard needs,” Che says.

He also said that Nigeria can meet its development goals faster if it gets biometric identity management right.

ZKTeco hopes to make progress in both the public and private sector in Nigeria.

BIO-key recently launched an Africa subsidiary to address the same burgeoning market.

Trulioo adds coverage of Nigeria and Ghana

Trulioo has added Nigeria and Ghana to its GlobalGateway marketplace of identity data and services, to help financial institutions accurately and efficiently verify the identity of customers in countries where people often lack traditional ID credentials, according to the company announcement.

This could help improve financial inclusion in the two countries, each of which Trulioo notes have taken steps to increase the availability of digital services, including ID verification. The company points in particular to GhanaPostGPS and Nigeria’s partnership with What3Words, both in 2017, as helping mail delivery and digital addressing systems.

“While many African countries have made great strides in their national digital identity programs, far too many of the continent’s residents face barriers when attempting to access financial services,” comments Zac Cohen, COO of Trulioo. “Financial institutions are reluctant to do business with citizens who lack a verified digital identity, as it can put them at risk of compliance violations, which in turn constricts citizens’ connection to the global economy.”

The percentage of adults in Ghana with financial accounts trails the world average by 7 points, 62 to 69 percent, while only 44 percent of adults in Nigeria have one. With the extension of Trulioo’s services the combined 220 million residents of the two countries can more easily save money, build credit, handle cash flow and deal with emergencies, the company says.

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