One of Africa’s Largest Banks Blocks Fraudulent Accounts with Biometric Authentication of Bank Customers

  • CASE STUDY | Customer: Equity bank | Partner: Compulynx
  • Kenya, Uganda, Sudan
  • Secure Customer Authentication
biometrics authentication for banking
Equity Bank Logo


  • Separate customer databases for different branches
  • Customer authentication with printed document
  • Inconsistent customer profile for each account


  • Centralized biometric database (CBD) of customers
  • Accurate customer authentication with fingerprints
  • Single biometric profile for every customer

In Search of a Reliable Method to Authenticate Bank Customers

Equity Bank was founded as Equity Building Society (EBS) in October 1984. It was originally a provider of mortgage financing for the majority of customers who fell under the low income population bracket. Since then, Equity Bank has continued its mission to financially empower and elevate communities at the grassroots level throughout Africa.
While implementing their regional expansion strategy through acquisitions of smaller banks, Equity encountered the problem of a reliable/secure authentication of over 1 million new customers.

Retail banks pride themselves on the speed and efficiency of their services. Unfortunately, they are also deeply concerned about the authentication of customers, especially when withdrawing cash from an account. In the event of misidentification, the bank is responsible for the error. As such, retail banks must find and implement customer authentication systems that are both efficient and highly secure.

  • Integrating smaller banks into a larger system

    Poor standardization around identification and authentication of account holders

  • Cost of customer misidentification

    In the event of misidentification, the bank is held responsible for the error

Biometric Authentication of Bank Customers Using Fingerprints.

CompuLynx, a trusted IT partner of Equity Bank, architected and deployed a solution utilizing Innovatrics ABIS (Automated Biometric Identification System) featuring robust fingerprint authentication to solve the critical issues in verifying the identity of their customers.

The purpose of the system was to provide Equity Bank with both an immediate answer to their recent acquisition, as well as a scalable system that could be deployed to other acquisitions as part of its retail expansion strategy. The system relies on a centralized biometric database (CBD) of customers’ fingerprints at Equity Bank’s Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Innovatrics ABIS maintains a single biometric profile for every customer, irrespective of the number of accounts the customer may hold with Equity Bank (savings, loan, hire purchase, home, education, etc.).
When a customer wants to register for a new service, withdraw money, or perform any bank transaction, Innovatrics ABIS performs 1:N matching operation to prevent identity fraud.

  • Centralization

    The system supports a centralized biometric database at Equity Bank’s Data Center

  • Consistency

    The system maintains a single biometric profile for every customer

  • Fraud Prevention

    High-speed 1:N fingerprint matching is performed with up to 10 million records in real-time

Secure & Reliable. Central Biometric Database of Customers to Prevent Fraud.

Equity Bank now has a centralized system for customer authentication that provides a smooth user experience while preventing fraud.  

The web-based solution is compliant to all necessary banking standards and security requirements. In addition, the scalable solution can be easily deployed in future retail banking sites. This ensures that Equity Bank can continue its regional expansion strategy with the knowledge that it can easily integrate sites into its secure, biometric authentication system.

  • Identity fraud prevention

    Highly secure authentication method using fingerprints

  • Scalability

    Easily deployable in future retail banking sites

The Power of a
Strong Partnership

The effort

As a specially-architected solution, CompuLynx worked with Innovatrics to identify the critical pieces that would meet Equity Bank’s short- and long-term needs. Beginning with design, CompuLynx worked with Equity Bank to understand the crucial issues and how the solution would need to scale with future expansion plans. Once the design was finalized, CompuLynx worked with Innovatrics engineers to put together the hardware and software, implementing an “off-the-shelf” solution that could be deployed in any future retail banking sites.

High speed biometric verification

The CBD, developed by CompuLynx as a central repository of all Equity Bank biometric data, runs concurrently with an ultra high-speed biometric verification engine that can compare a biometric fingerprint image with up to 10 million records and check for deduplication within six seconds;


Each retail-banking branch is connected to the CBD via a dedicated, high-speed data line.

ABIS Datasheet Download

DATASHEET Biometrics, tailored

Innovatrics Automated Biometric Identification System

Download Datasheet