NPCI to Trial Iris Scanning for Banking

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is getting ready to trial iris-based authentication for banking, according to new reports. The pilot project is planned to start next March and conclude in May.

It’s a measure aimed at reducing fraud and improving the customer experience, with NPCI CEO AP Hota telling the Economic Times that it is “the next-generation authentication technology which can make the transaction processes simpler and faster without compromising on security.” NPCI is reportedly negotiating with numerous banks, both public and private, to bring them under the umbrella of the pilot project.

Intriguingly, there are hints that Samsung is also a partner in the project, suggesting there is considerable validity to recent reports that the company is working on its own iris scanning smartphones, partly in an effort to compete with recent offerings from Microsoft. The technology under development is even said to be compatible with India’s Aadhaar biometric citizen registry, which could further extend its utility.

There are still regulatory hurdles to overcome, of course, and the full breadth of the pilot project isn’t yet clear, but given the preponderance of biometric authentication in India, the project appears to have a good shot at success.