“The centre of gravity of civil biometrics industry has shifted to India perhaps making India the new Biometric Centre of Excellence for Civil Biometrics” says Sanjeev Shriya, Managing Director- Smart Chip & Syscom
Aadhar program continues to make waves and there isn’t a day when we do not discover a yet another transformational nature of the program. What according to you has been the biggest contribution of the Aadhar Program? State Morphos’ role as well.
Morpho is a global leader in biometric security. Over time, security has changed its definition, it has evolved, and its context has altered. Apart from the transformational social aspect of the Aadhar program itself, which is profound, deep and decisive enough to change the social landscape of this country, it also fundamentally altered the biometric security industry, globally.
Morpho is the earliest and leading “back-end engine” of the Aadhar program. The centre of gravity of civil biometrics industry has shifted to India perhaps making India the new Biometric Centre of Excellence. If we were to divide the world by an imaginary Biometric Equator, it breaks it down into two sections – the developed, and the developing world. The whole context of biometry differs in these two worlds – in the developed world until now, Biometrics is deployed principally for Criminal Detection, whereas in the developing world – our world, it is being deployed primarily for Inclusion and delivering social and economic rights transparently and efficiently. This is the fundamental change that has been brought together, at a technological level by the Aadhar program.
To support this ambitious transformation, the hardware side is also very important; Morpho is a big provider of Terminals/Devices for enrolment and for authentication. We have a market share of more than 50 percent in authentication devices. Due to the nature of the application and the demographics, the technology needs to operate in an environment which is for everyday use.. In effect, it is almost democratizing the biometrics world. In a more tangible sense, Aadhar for the first time not only defined a biometrically powered social inclusion model; it also defined the basic and widely applicable standards for usage of biometrics for this country. This has resulted in the alteration of the banking landscape substantially with the use of Aadhar, which is becoming central to all other identities too. Morpho today is enabling over 400,000 bank employees to securely login to banking systems across most public sector banks using biometric security – and the technology conforms 100 percent to the standards crafted under the UID program.
In your opinion, what do you think that the Security Industry is heading towards, particularly in India?
As being said, the security industry is adopting a new definition and intent. Since the days of the concept of security for purely to secure and mainly to detect, we are now seeing a new paradigm, and that is “Security or more specifically for us Biometrics for Business Growth”
India still needs to travel the path of going from just territorial security to economic security. In this context, Aadhar is playing an indispensable role. We are now continuously applying biometrics technology to power business growth – new process for business acquisition and better cost effective customer services for lower total cost of the ownership for our customers. The corporate sector is emerging a new business segment with a strong focus on biometrics, especially within the banking / financial services’ sector, insurance, telecom and other major utility segments.
There is a dichotomy in the context of Biometrics. As at one end, it’s the criminal world and at the other end of the biometrics equator, there is the demographic and economic side of it’s application. The value propositions are entirely different.
So while the security industry will continue to focus on the traditional criminal detection markets, new segments will emerge, and industry leaders will actively invest – both the technology providers as well as leading industry players within these segments.
From Acquisition to Service: Transforming Customer Life cycle Management with Biometrics. Please explain this with respect to Morpho’s product offerings?
Well, before I react to this from Morpho’s perspective, let me reflect on the whole context of customer management in the emerging scenario, especially in the Indian context with Aadhar surging ahead with its rapidly evolving authentication eco-system considering the launch of the path-breaking services such as eKYC. Today it is absolutely possible using Aadhar and enabling technologies for a person to walk into a bank branch without a piece of paper. Using only his finger and keeping Aadhar number in mind, he will simply walk out of the branch minutes later with a new bank account along with a bank card issued over the counter. Morpho is constantly investing in its end-to-end domain centric offerings to enable banks to operate such highly services – a truly transformational context to straight through processing in a different sense. Imagine the customer’s ease, the wonders it does to collapse a bank’s customer acquisition cost. Emphasis is being laid in creating a ‘Technological Framework’, stressing upon the ‘transactional cost’. A low-end model needs to be adapted in the banking domain as well.
If one has to extend the whole context, it is entirely possible to operate such technology on the field – we have the solutions to enable a bank representative to visit your home and do exactly the same or aiding you to buy a personalized SIM card at home or an insurance policy and all these, without any documents by simply using Aadhar authentication. The two key elements involved in this discussion are; Assurance of the Identity and Democratization of Technology. Taking the example of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) program, wherein 18 crore people are being benefited; the question which arises is that, if the health services can be democratized why can’t be banking services?
List down the projects which your organisation is eyeing up in close association with the Government?
One is the Aadhar for sure, second would be the Driving License Programs which are functional in hundreds of cities across Gujarat, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, MP, Goa, etc., delivering end to end services in all these locations. We have also started deploying biometric linkages. For one such operation in MP, we are deploying biometrics de-duplication. So any person who wants to have a driving license needs to biometrically demonstrate that he doesn’t have it already. We lay emphasis in providing more and more services to people from the convenience of their own place and with mobility. A third project of ours is the RSBY program, where we are significantly deploying Morpho technologies in the field