Biometric Verification System

Introduction

Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism since long and one of the gaps to fight terrorism was the inability to connect a suspicious voice intercept with the identity of the caller. The Government of Pakistan finally decided that all mobile SIM’s should be identified/linked with the mobile owner. Fortunately for Pakistan its National Identity Management database managed by NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) had started capturing the fingerprints of all Identity Card Holders (CNIC) since as early as 2003. By 2013 nearly the entire population over the age of18 years had been registered with their biometrics. The government decided to pass a regulation that all SIM owners must be verified through their fingerprints in phases to complete not only new SIM sales but total verification of all SIM’s being used in the country by April 2015. This was a daunting task for all the five mobile operators in the country as it did not only necessitated a major technology change but was associated with a substantial cost having very tight time lines to have the 100 million plus mobile subscribers verified to retain their customer base.

Secure Touch

secure touch device

Secure Touch Biometric Verification Device with built-in fingerprint scanner  designed and developed exclusively by Secure Tech Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd.

Secure Touch Lite

secure touch lite device

Secure Touch Lite is a versatile handheld solution designed and developed exclusively by Secure Tech Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd.
 

Biometric Enrollment System

secure touch device

Linux based Biometric Enrollment System with full fledged ICAO standard photograph and 4-4-2 slap scanner with backend AFIS and Facial Recognition.
 


In order to tackle the immediate requirement of verification, all five mobile operators got together under the platform of Pakistan Number Portability database (PMD), and floated an RFP for biometric verification terminals. SecureTech Consultancy won this contract to supply 15000 biometric verification units; this was possible due to the fact that SecureTech had carried out its R&D on designing a terminal that suited to all the requirements of the mobile companies.

Currently more than 52,000 Biometric Verification Devices are being collectively used very successfully by all 05 Mobile operators throughout Pakistan for SIM Issuance and Remote Financial usage.

Majority of these terminals are now in their second year of operation vide extended warranty arrangements.

Challenges

Following major challenges were encountered: -

  • The capital cost had to be reduced as such an Android solution was the answer. Most fingerprint scanners in the market in the year 2014 were Windows based and did not have an Android compatible SDK. We were however lucky to have Dermalog as our exclusive partner, that immediately developed an SDK in android for their world-class fingerprint scanners. Thus we were able to get the early bird advantage for making biometric verification system with a well reputed fingerprint scanner.
  • The market was flooded with various android tablets but most if not all did not have a host port that could provide power to run a fingerprint scanner. Hence we had to find an entire new biometric verification terminal that could have an inbuilt scanner and support all the functions that were essential for fingerprint verification and looking in the future support all mobile applications like Mobile financial services etc. This meant not only a modular terminal to ensure support in year two an onwards by having to change faulty modules but also to have a dedicated Operating System (OS) that would carry out functions like Over the Air (OTA) updates, health checks and the requisite security certificates as per each customers requirements.
  • We successfully developed the terminal in cooperation with a Chinese manufacturing and R&D company.
  • Mobilink, a renowned mobile operator in Pakistan, gave us the contract to make their backend that would be integrated with their CRM as well as with NADRA. This backend was made scalable to be able to support more than 1.8 million transactions per day during the re-verification phased. It is also flexible to support devices from other vendors as well as cater for all their other applications like mobile financial services, etc. 
  • SecureTech Consultancy also made the backend middle ware server application that supported all five mobile operators of Pakistan.

Solution

SecureTech Consultancy developed an end to end biometric verification system for both PMD and Mobilink. SecureTech is also managing the backend middleware for Mobilink. The middleware is scalable to handle present and future requirements of the customer and is flexible to add on new applications through OTA on all its devices deployed throughout Pakistan.

 

 

The Biometric Verification device has a desktop as well as a handheld version and both come as a standalone indigenous device built on Android OS. It comes packed with state-of-the-art touch screen for display, high performance based fingerprint scanner for enrolling biometrics. It comprises of all the requisite hardware required for fingerprint verification, integrated with high functionality customized android based software application according to industry specific requirements. The simple and easy to use interface makes it very practical for operators with minimal training including use on a self-service basis.

Features

  1. Biometric SIM Verification System

     supports multiple application interfaces.
  2. The Biometric device supports Communication interfaces.
  3. The application supports Standard Web service over GPRS / EDGE / Wi-Fi
  4. The system is designed having multi-threaded architecture, ensuring robustness and scalability.
  5. All communication between client and server is SSL encrypted.
  6. The Middleware of the Verification system uses connection pooling combined with a “queuing” mechanism for situation when resources are inadequate to cope with peak loads.
  7. It maintains logs for biometric verification process locally. Both the Server side/ Client side logs are generated.  Client side logs get uploaded automatically through GRPS / EDGE to middleware.
  8. The system has a well designed, normalized database using Oracle 11g as RDBMS, allowing indexing with optimized queries.

Conclusion

As global security remains top of mind for the Pakistani Government, SecureTech Consultancy is proud to come up with this Biometric Verification Technology which supports the government in their strive to meet threats effectively by ensuring overall safety of all citizens.We have already successfully completed Biometric Verification Projects including delivery of Biometric Devices from inception culminating into fully operational systems with on ground success. This success was possible due to help, guidance and support we got from Mobilink, Uphone and PMD.