ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority have launched contactless biometric verification services for the banking and payments industry. Pakistan is one of the first countries in the world to implement this technology on a national level. The service was launched during a visit by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr. Reza Baqir to the Nadra headquarters. Banks will make use of the digital app on smartphones capturing and verifying biometrics of the potential account holders from their homes, with the introduction of this digital technology, the banking system will take a paradigm shift. The service is initially extended to five banks nominated by the SBP for the pilot project. Other banks and fully SBP licensed EMIs, after completion of necessary formalities will also be included in the pilot run. Once the project is completed, this service shall be extended to all banks/EMIs, said a news release issued on Thursday. “This new mobile-based verification service for banks and Electronic Money Institutions is in line with SBP’s financial inclusion initiative while creating opportunity for rapid onboarding using remote identification and e-KYC features,” SBP governor said. He said it will help release the pressure on banks that have been negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic. In his address, Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik said the facility addresses “the need of the hour” under the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. “This new technology makes contactless fingerprint acquisition and matching possible using a smart mobile phone, providing an alternative to conventional methods of conducting digital financial transactions that may require specialized equipment or visits to bank branches/franchises. Nadra is proud to maintain its reputation for introducing niche technological trends in the country. It is another step towards our aim of creating a robust National ID Eco-System in Pakistan,” He said.