SOURCE: BIO-key International, Inc.

BIO-key International, Inc.

May 28, 2013 08:00 ET

Nigerian Communications Commission Deploys BIO-key Fingerprint Technology for National SIM Card Registration Program

SW Global and BIO-key to Identify Duplicate Registrations Among a Database of 110 Million Mobile Subscribers

WALL, NJ--(Marketwired - May 28, 2013) - BIO-key International, Inc. (OTCQB: BKYI), a global leader in fingerprint biometric identification solutions, advanced cloud-based mobile credentialing and identity assurance technologies, today reported that the company and SW Global, a leading provider of Information Technology Services throughout Africa, are implementing BIO-key's fingerprint biometric technology as part of the Nigerian SIM (NSIM) Card Registration program for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The NSIM program has classified and biometrically enrolled the purchasers of over 110 million SIM cards, making it one of the largest biometric identity management projects in the world.

BIO-key was selected by SW Global to provide cost-effective, highly accurate and scalable biometric identity solutions to support the enrollment and de-duplication of the country's entire mobile phone user population. SW Global has emerged as one of the first globally competitive software development and application service provider companies out of Africa. The company has extensive experience designing and applying e-Government solutions throughout Africa and other emerging markets.

The Nigerian SIM Card Registration program was conceived to combat fraud and criminal activity by securing the identities of all Mobile Network subscribers nationwide. The goal was to implement a solution that is secure, cost effective, widely accepted, and integrates with other identity databases in Nigeria. The process includes enrolling subscribers and associating their identity with the ownership of SIM cards and mobile phone numbers. BIO-key's fingerprint technology automates the detection of multiple identity holders, and ensures a permanent physical connection of every person to a single identity.

Nigeria has an estimated 110 million SIM cards in use and issues approximately 8 million new SIMs annually through multiple Mobile Network Operators. Historically, most of the issued SIM cards were for prepaid lines and were not registered before issuance. These anonymous mobile lines have been used in perpetrating fraudulent acts and other crimes without a means of tracing the activity back to the responsible party. NSIM intends to put an end to this anonymity to combat fraud and crime.

Dr. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC, at a recent Security Summit convened by the Office of National Security Advisor, stated, "In making further analysis and consultations, the Commission became very convinced that registration of SIM Cards with full biometric identity of every subscriber in the network will go a long way in assisting the security agencies to fight crimes against lives and properties. SIM Card registration also provides a good opportunity for the nation to accelerate the achievement of a National Registry of its Citizens which has eluded this nation for a long time."

Anthony Nwachukwu, SW Global Limited COO, stated, "The National SIM Registration program is an important milestone for the country, in that it can potentially provide every Nigerian citizen with a secure identity for accessing public and private services becoming available through mobile telephony. This project is consistent with our philosophy since the company's founding nearly one decade ago -- to streamline and modernize systems in the developing world to close the digital divide and foster transparency, accountability and opportunity across all segments of society," Mr. Nwachukwu continued. "We are proud to partner with BIO-key which is best in class in terms of identity solutions."

"Through our partnership with SW Global, we are delivering one of the largest commercial/civil identification programs in the world using our core WEB-key AFIS biometric engine. When the database of registered users is fully scrubbed, each SIM card will be associated with a user and anonymous SIMs, which many times are used for criminal purposes, will no longer be active," stated Mike DePasquale, BIO-key CEO. "Also, the SIM Registration dataset can become a platform for additional services such as mobile banking and electronic payments, since the NCC has the ability to positively identify each individual tied to a mobile device. The citizens of Nigeria will be using state-of-the-art technology providing better security and functionality than most countries around the globe. We plan on capitalizing on our success with SW Global and the NCC in marketing this solution to other countries that have similar requirements, leading to additional revenue opportunities for BIO-key," continued DePasquale.

About BIO-key
BIO-key International, Inc., headquartered in Wall, New Jersey, develops and delivers advanced identification solutions to commercial and government enterprises, integrators, and custom application developers. BIO-key's award winning, high performance, scalable, cost-effective and easy-to-deploy biometric finger identification technology accurately identifies and authenticates users of wireless and enterprise applications. Our solutions are used in local embedded OEM products as well as some of the world's largest identification deployments to improve security, guarantee identity, and help reduce identity theft. BIO-key's technology is offered directly or by market leading partners around the world. (http://www.bio-key.com)

BIO-key Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements contained in this press release may be construed as "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). The words "estimate," "project," "intends," "expects," "anticipates," "believes" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management pursuant to the "safe-harbor" provisions of the Act. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected on the basis of these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, our history of losses and limited revenue, our ability to develop new products and evolve existing ones, the impact on our business of the recent financial crisis in the global capital markets and negative global economic trends, our ability to attract and retain key personnel. For a more complete description of these and other risk factors that may affect the future performance of BIO-key International, Inc., see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The Company also undertakes no obligation to disclose any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    BIO-key International, Inc.
    Jay Meier
    651-789-6116