Tag Archives: Biometrics

Are you willing to Pay by using your Face as an Authentication tool?


Uniqul, a Finnish startup company, specializing in innovative payment modes, has launched the world’s first world’s first face recognition payments system.

As per the company website, ‘The main goal of Uniqul is to provide its customers with services that are truly unique, through introduction of completely new and in-house developed technologies, which are not yet present on the market’.

On 15/07/2013, the company announced that it is moved considerably closer for a pilot launch in Helinski

As customers approach the checkout at the store, a camera picks them up and “military grade algorithms” identify them. A payment is pre-authorised using a card linked to the customer’s Uniqul account and confirmed by pressing an ‘OK’ button on a tablet

Uniqul has not only military grade identification algorithms but also improved them, to make sure that ‘customers’  are always recognized, but at the same time making sure that no-one else gets access to other’s your Uniqul account.

The first step is to make a Uniqul account and register a payment method before you can start using Uniqul. Registering is easy – Customer’s enter the account info online in advance and just approach one of Uniqul’s  QPoints when the customer is  ready to get your picture taken or alternatively the customer  can fill in all info at a QPoint.



Aadhaar – Number or Card or both.


The initial mandate of UIDAI was to issue ‘Aadhaar numbers’, to the enrolled population after collecting their Biometric details. Hence, the initial ‘Aadhaar number’, were issued on simple inland letters.

As time went by, the ‘Aadhaar numbers’, were issued on laminated cards. This was because, slowly ‘Aadhaar number’, document morphed into an identity document. Directly or indirectly, with major Government departments relying upon ‘Aadhaar number’, to identify a person, a more durable document was required than a piece of paper was required to display the ‘Aadhaar number’.  This led to the latest avatar of the ‘Aadhaar document’, a laminated card.

Ideally, based on the ‘Aadhaar number’, other government departments were to incorporate the same in the documents issued by them ex PAN Card, Passport, Ration Card, etc. Based on the ‘Aadhaar number’, the biometric details were to be matched and then the ‘Aadhaar number’, be incorporated on the base document.

However, biometric authentication is not yet taken off, hence departments started to rely on the ‘Aadhaar number’, document   to identify the person.

The recent confusion arose as the National Population Register has the mandate to issue ‘Resident Identity Cards’.

The ‘Resident Identity Cards’, will contain the ‘Aadhaar numbers’. Residents, who have enrolled under UIDAI-Aadhaar scheme, have to re-enroll for inclusion in NPR. However, residents who have enrolled under NPR need not re-enroll for UIDAI-Aadhaar scheme, as the Aadhaar number will be issued based on NPR enrolments.

Ah, the future of collection of biometric details of Indian residents is bound to be interesting. In this whole exercise, as massive IT efforts will be required, new technologies being developed for the collection/storage of biometric details should have a spillover effect over other related fields.

At present, the ‘Resident Identity Cards’, are being issued to residents of coastal villages under In future, the  scheme to issue Resident Identity Cards to all usual residents in the country who are of 18 years of age and more on the same pattern is under consideration of the Government.

Confusion over whether the unique identity number is a number, a card or both, and concerns over UID and the National Population Register duplicating functions prompted the Cabinet to refer UPA-2’s ambitious project to a group of ministers.

The Cabinet discussion on Thursday revealed that the ministerial panel was not immune from contradictory and blurred perceptions about Aadhaar, as UID is known, with some ministers saying they had received a card along with a number.

Seeking to set at rest controversy over Aadhaar, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on 1st February 2013,  said UID is a number and not an identity card.

“The Aadhaar is actually a number, linked to that number is a biometric record which is centrally stored. The (Aadhaar) number comes in a form of card. But that card is not an identity card,” Ahluwalia told PTI when asked about the raging controversy over the issue.

Residents of NCR – Aadhaar number is a must have


With effective from 01/01/2013, New Delhi residents can access a host of government services only if they have the ‘Aadhaar number’.

Government of New Delhi, Revenue Department has released a notification which says that it is mandatory for people to possess Aadhaar card for various services like marriage registration and issuance of domicile certificate.

The notification was issued on 18/12/2012, w.e.f 01/01/2013.

One concession that has been provided is that, if somebody has enrolled for National Population Register, NPR, then he or she can access the services producing the NPR details.

Further, oral clarifications have been provided, stating that people not having Aadhaar number at present will be able to access government services on enrollment of the same at designated Aadhaar registration centres.

At present, the authentication of the Aadhaar number or the Aadhaar number holder is not envisaged. Going ahead, if there are sufficient number of biometric authentication devices installed at Delhi government offices, than the biometric authentication will be looked into.