Zain Cash, IrisGuard and UNHCR collaborate to introduce iris technology for cash disbursements to refugees in Iraq

Published: 22 August 2019 - 7:24 a.m.

Zain Cash is an award-winning mobile wallet, money transfer and funds disbursement service in Iraq set up Zain Group, the leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the MENA region. Now, it will introduce a revolutionary EyePay Cash platform enabling refugees to cash-out their financial assistance via iris identification.

The program has been developed in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IrisGuard, a UK-based electronic payment solutions company. The latter being the leading supplier of end-to-end iris recognition biometric technology means the service will ensure the highest level of protection against fraud and improved accountability when transferring cash.

Currently, over 120,000 vulnerable families in Iraq and around 30,000 refugees in the country receive cash support via the UNHCR. In 2018 alone, it has disbursed over USD60 million through its partners. The introduction of iris technology for payment of cash assistance will improve identification accuracy, efficiency and speed as it is the most accurate and secure personal identifier available today. With this, only the entitled refugee will be able to cash-out which massively reduces fraud. Furthermore, to safeguard this registration data, the UNHCR has implemented a high level of security and encryption.

A streamlined disbursement process will significantly aid the UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations in Iraq who are targeting more than 1 million displaced Iraqis and refugees for cash assistance this year. By integrating the iris technology, the process is set to become quicker in comparison to the previous process which took over 15 days.

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