We sure do hear a lot about how FinTech is transforming the banking and financial sector within the world. While it’s a good thing to hear about how the Middle East, especially Bahrain is amongst that bandwagon, one can still be questioning, how is it changing? What is its impact?
Well, we talked to the co-founder of the fingerprint payment solution, Dr. Nayef Alalawi and he shared with us some valuable insights of how Eazy is transforming the method of payment within Bahrain. Here’s what he said:
Could you please introduce yourself?
I’m Dr. Nayef Tawfiq Al-Alawi, inventor and intellectual property owner of the world’s first Global Biometric Payment Network and the Co-Founder & Deputy Chairman of Eazy.
Tell us about Eazy, how does it work and how did it start?
Eazy is a biometric payment solution, it helps banks and financial institutions to enable their end users to utilize fingerprints to transact. Currently, fingerprints are used as an authentication method to replace traditional PIN and passwords while Eazy is different as it doesn’t require an authentication method.
This idea started before 4 years, I’ve been wondering why do we still need to carry cards or devices to perform a transaction? How can we do transactions more conveniently and securely? I have been through a very long learning curve to study and understand the technology of fingerprints and how this can be applied to markets. My aspiration is to introduce new technology to the market which offers convenience and security at the same time, and after lengthy studies and procedures, I have successfully registered the copyright in Lebanon, Berne Convention, as well as in the library of congress in the US.
With your new fingerprint solution comes privacy and security concerns, how will you ensure customer information is securely stored?
Fingerprint is the best biometric element which offers the highest level of security and privacy. Cards and other means of payments are vulnerable and exposed to high risk, it can be lost or stolen easily while fingerprint will always remain a part of your body. We don’t store financial information of consumers since the solution is designed to separate fingerprint data from personal and financial information to ensure the highest levels of security. Eazy will be managing the fingerprints data and banks will be managing their consumers’ information.
Is the new method going to eliminate the entire concept of credit cards, or are they going to be working in parallel?
Certainly, it will not eliminate the concept of credit cards overnight, it’s just a new technology offering a new payment method. Plastic cards and other means will remain available; the consumer will have the freedom to select the best payment method according to his needs and satisfaction. We understand the need of security and convenience in the payment industry and Eazy offers superior degrees of security and convenience to compete with traditional payment methods.
How do you plan to monetize the service?
We designed this solution to be B2B, we will offer such services to banks and financial institutions and consequently, they will offer the services to their end-users.
What’s your opinion on the recently released Fintech sandbox regulation framework by the CBB?
It offers a great instrument for startups and existing players in the market to testify new innovation and technologies prior to the deployment in markets. The Kingdom of Bahrain has always been a leader in founding regulatory frameworks and establishing healthy environments for new ideas and businesses, the sandbox adds a lot of competitive edge to attract new technologies and creative ideas to the Kingdom.
What challenges are you facing right now?
Time is crucial in the process of building new infrastructure to offer an excellent customer experience; this is from the technical aspect of the solution. The infrastructure requires a collaborative planning and deployment between Eazy and banks to complete connectivity and technical groundwork. On the other hand, we have an extensive pipeline from the region and international markets but we’re still focusing on launching this solution in the Kingdom of Bahrain before deploying it to other markets.
With Eazy, you can say goodbye to credit cards, all you need is your finger to swipe, and you’re good to go!