Biometric authentication software company Veridium (formerly Hoyos Labs) was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from Digital Financial Services Lab. The grant is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Veridium earned the funds by completing the first DFS Lab Biometrics Challenge, which required groups to develop software-based technologies that can capture and verify fingerprints using only an Android smartphone. The $150,000 winnings are to be used to create a mobile app that makes it easy to enroll and match users in developing countries against government databases in order to ensure they receive proper government aid and money.
Lori Cohen, CMO of Veridium, said, “Our goal is to help design a new banking model, using our biometric authentication technology to bring the unbanked into the financial services system. Additionally, over time, [we aim to] improve their circumstances, making it possible to open a bank account, apply for credit, and achieve a level of financial stability.”
This isn’t Veridium’s first grant. The company earned a grant in 2017 in which it piloted a new digital banking model using biometric authentication in a partnership with Wala. The pilot aimed to bring accessible, zero-fee banking to residents of sub-Saharan Africa.
“Winning the grant from DFS Lab has enabled us to be one step closer to our goal of disrupting the current banking model, which currently excludes billions of people around the world just because they lack identity documents,” added Cohen.
At FinovateEurope 2017, Veridium showcased 4 Fingers TouchlessID, multi-finger touchless biometric authentication that works on smartphones with a camera. This method of biometric authentication can be leveraged to onboard and authenticate consumers, since the quality of the fingerprint photos is equivalent to those captured on traditional flatbed scanners. Earlier this year, the company deployed its VeridiumID platform with Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic region. Headquartered in London and Boston, Veridium was founded in 2015. James Stickland is CEO.