IrisGuard and Arifpay unlock potential for financial inclusion for all Ethiopians

June 19, 2023
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IrisGuard is proud to announce a strategic collaboration for the provision of the EyePay® Network in Ethiopia with our local financial services partner Arifpay.

The implementation of IrisGuard’s robust and reliable digital payment infrastructure, that exclusively uses the human iris for authenticating and processing payment transactions, ensures complete transparency that social support reaches the intended recipients. Being powered by IrisGuard’s cutting-edge iris recognition software and hardware makes the EyePay® Network one of the most secure and accountable payment platforms available, providing irrefutable proof-of-life for compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) regulations. This real-time tracking tool monitors funds at every stage of the process, eliminating the risk of fraud, duplicate payment and double-dipping.

With only 25% of adults in Ethiopia owning a bank account, this strategic partnership marks a milestone in the fintech industry and reinforces Ethiopia’s reputation as a hub for innovative and transformative steps towards financial inclusion. IrisGuard and Arifpay are paving the way for a future where digital payments empower beneficiaries to navigate the digital financial landscape confidently using the iris, overcoming connectivity, location or literacy hurdles.

Combining IrisGuard’s world-leading iris recognition technologies with a bespoke design to support UN Agencies, NGOs, Governments, banks, post offices, money exchangers and mobile wallet agents, the EyePay® Network provides users one uniform web portal interface connecting multiple payers to a network of payment service providers. It removes lengthy set up processes and features variable exchange rates, post-disbursement payment and instant settlement of funds upon disbursement, thus providing stronger financial resilience and larger coverage.

Imad Malhas, Founder & Managing Director of IrisGuard commented, “We are proud to be part of such a remarkable milestone in Ethiopia with our partners at Arifpay. Ethiopia’s innovative landscape is the perfect stage for our EyePay® Network services and the kind of transparency and accountability levels it brings in the international humanitarian assistance arena. As part of our global expansion plans, we look forward to working with local partners, who share our passion for innovation and for expanding financial inclusion, in new regions across the world.”

Arifpay is one of the pioneers in the Ethiopian FinTech ecosystem licensed by National Bank of Ethiopia to operate as a Payment System Operator in Point of Sale (POS) and Payment Gateway. Arifpay has been working to revolutionize Ethiopia’s digital payment ecosystem with full-fledged innovative solutions to support MSMEs in Ethiopia. With a commitment of supporting Ethiopia’s National Digital Payments Strategy and Digital Ethiopia 2025, Arifpay is thriving to create digitally enabled business ecosystem by providing state of the art POS and payment gateway solutions.

The impact of Arifpay in ecosystem building has been growing by creating a platform, in which all stakeholders can join forces and enhance the nation’s financial ecosystem through advocacy and policy recommendations.

Arifpay’s CEO Bernard Laurendeau adds: “We are excited to work with IrisGuard in Ethiopia and about the potential the EyePay® Network platform brings to Ethiopia and the African continent. This solution will enable us to serve millions of unbanked people and support the Government’s ongoing efforts to digitize the economy at the highest level of accountability and transparency.”

About IrisGuard

Founded in 2001, IrisGuard is a world-leader of end-to-end iris enabled payment systems, empowering financial inclusion for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. Processing over USD $1.3b in humanitarian aid and beneficiary value per annum, IrisGuard’s iris recognition technology provides a 100% accurate proof-of-life in real time, on a one-to-millions basis. The EyePay® Network is a highly secure, scalable and reliable platform for payment processing that delivers services and assistance from Governments, Donors and NGOs to citizens and beneficiaries through banks ATMs, switches, post offices and money exchangers and mobile agents, now serving over 14 million beneficiaries across multiple countries.

About Arifpay

Arifpay Financial Technologies S.C. is a financial institution licensed by the National Bank of Ethiopia providing fully interoperable digital payment solutions including ArifPOS and ArifGateway. Arifpay is Ethiopia’s first Payment System Operator (PSO) with payment solutions for smartphones, POS and QR payment terminals. Arifpay offers innovative, secure and easy to implement digital payment solutions for MSME merchants, banks and customers, working through commercial channel partners.

For more information on IrisGuard, please visit www.irisguard.com

Images of our products are available on request. Interview with Imad Malhas, Founder & Managing Director, also available on request

For more information on Arifpay, please visit www.arifpay.net

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