SecuGen Corporation announced it has won a new contract with Net1 Applied Technology Holdings Limited, the leading contractor for the South African Department of Social Welfare to dispense pension and social grant payments. Aplitec recently won a three-year contract to provide payment services using smart cards and SecuGen’s fingerprint biometric technology to an additional 400,000 people in the Eastern Cape Province beginning in November 2002.
Approximately 300 Aplitec vehicles equipped with a total of 2,000 fingerprint biometric readers travel to 5,184 rural locations throughout South Africa to dispense payments to over 1.8M qualified recipients each month. Because these recipients are among the 80% of the South African population who do not have bank accounts, payments are made in cash. To use the biometric smart card system, recipients only need to present their government-issued ID document once to authorize the enrollment of their fingerprints into the Aplitec system. To receive payment, the recipients present their smart card and provide identification by matching their fingerprint against the encrypted template stored in the card. The entire process takes less than 27 seconds for each person and has dramatically reduced fraud over the last three years. “Our fingerprint reader is programmed to create a cryptographic session between itself and the smart card tendered, thus removing any possibility of fraud associated with the storage and subsequent illegal replay of digital templates,” says Derek McCallum, Group Technical Manager for Aplitec.
Aplitec chose fingerprint biometrics over iris/retinal scanning and voice for both cost and performance considerations when deploying these solutions over a wide range of field conditions. “While planning to expand our service, we reevaluated our vendor selection for the biometric solution,” says McCallum. “We needed to reduce system cost and improve field reliability of the equipment and so we chose SecuGen’s optical fingerprint sensor and algorithm for its excellent image quality, robustness, and accuracy. We field tested different fingerprint technologies extensively and concluded that semiconductor capacitive-based sensors were not suitable in the outdoor or dusty environments. Optical sensors proved to be the right technology choice although we found that those made with a protective coating require replacement due to the coating wearing off after one month in use. The hardened optical prism and the packaging of the SecuGen sensor make it particularly well suited to our application. The SecuGen sensor eliminates the maintenance problems we have had with existing biometric equipment from other suppliers. Over time, we will replace all existing biometric equipment with SecuGen sensors.”
“We have worked closely with Aplitec to provide them with the most reliable, durable and cost effective biometric solution in the marketplace,” says James Sortino, worldwide vice president of sales at SecuGen. “Aplitec’s application is another demonstration that fingerprint biometrics is not a technology option but is becoming a business necessity within the public and private sectors worldwide.”
SecuGen Corporation provides biometric solutions for physical and network security employing the most advanced fingerprint recognition technology. The company invents, develops, manufactures and markets a complete line of patented optical fingerprint recognition sensors that, combined with a powerful, sophisticated algorithm, produce a product with the highest resolution and longest warranty in the industry. Businesses worldwide implement SecuGen’s proven hardware and software products for Internet, enterprise network and desktop security, physical access control, time and attendance and medical record control applications. SecuGen’s cost-effective products are sold as a complete solution, an OEM component, or integrated into ready-to-use PC peripherals such as optical mice, keyboards and a standalone desktop device. Partnerships with key network security software suppliers assure compatibility across multiple platforms and applications.
SecuGen is a global company headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with offices providing sales and customer support in Canada and Japan. For more information on SecuGen, its products and technologies, visit , call 408.942.3400 or e-mail [email protected]
Net1 Applied Technology Holdings Ltd (Aplitec) is a technology company that creates financial delivery systems based on multipurpose, programmable smart cards. Aplitec delivers low-cost payment solutions for welfare payments, microlending systems, taxi fare, payment upon delivery, payroll systems and retail POS transactions, loyalty and bonus programs. The company is listed on the Information Technology sector of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is headquartered in Parklands, South Africa. Aplitec is the second fastest growing technology company in South Africa according to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Index.