Anju Bansal and Chandradeo Arya, two students of Birla Institute of Technology and Science, have come up with an innovative idea to build an SMS-based mobile biometric authentication system which would help the illiterate people in rural areas to access financial services.
Anju Bansal explained that most of the villagers do not have banking facilities, and hence microfinance institutions reach out to them. However, these organisations often run into trouble while authenticating signatures which can be faked easily. He further indicated that the government introduced biometric authentication systems like Aadhar to reduce cases of forgery, but poor internet connectivity is often causing various issues.
Arya and Anju Bansal realised that there is a need to address this problem. Currently, they are working as teachers at local schools as a part of institute’s outreach programme. Their innovation will play a significant role in rural areas where internet connectivity is a problem. Their innovation can be used by small medium and micro enterprises as well as state health societies for authenticating payments. It can also be used as authentication for voter registration, LPG subsidy and distribution of seeds and fertilisers by the government.
Bansal explained that most of these organisations in villages face a major problem, i.e., signature authentication. For this purpose, a mandatory biometric fingerprint scan can be made for all NREGA workers to avoid fake signatures. It would also reduce corruption in government schemes.
The innovative idea of Arya and Anju Bansal won the Accenture Jockey Season 5 contest which was held in Bangalore last month. Bansal said that they would contact some non-profit organisations to test the system and once the testing and bug-fixing is completed, the product will be deployed for public use.