May 25, 2016

Samsung's new Galaxy Tab Iris is a big deal for financial inclusion in India

The buy-in from a major device maker means that the Aadhaar based ecosystem can pick up pace now.

BYSunny Sen

Samsung India has launched the Galaxy Tab Iris, a tablet with an iris scanner. This is likely to be a game changer for the government of India’s Aadhaar program, which has issued a unique identification number for over 100 crore Indians.
The tablet can be used for Aadhaar-based authentication, which is tied to your iris and fingerprint. The buy-in from a major device maker means that the Aadhaar based ecosystem can pick up pace now. It will also force others who sell to the government as well as private players using Aadhaar’s authentication mechanism to come up with similar features.
These tablets can easily replace specialised point of sale devices and can be used for cashless and paperless services in various applications such as banking, e-governance services such as passport, taxation, healthcare and education, the company said.
The company will also roll out an identity software development kit so that third party developers can create authentication solutions based on Aadhaar. This is a great move, which will help fuel innovation.
Many government schemes including the public distribution system and India’s employment guarantee scheme, pension schemes and passport applications have been integrated to Aadhaar in the recent years.
The Galaxy Tab Iris, priced at₹13,499, sports a 7 inch display and a 5 megapixel auto focus rear camera. It weighs 327 gm, and is 9.7 mm thick. The device has a 3600 mAh battery, 8GB memory and supports Bluetooth 4.1.
According to IDC, which tracks tablet shipments, low-cost tablet maker Datawind is a market leader with 27.6% share (they come really cheap). Samsung has a 15.2% share in the Indian market between January and March 2016. In this period, 860,000 tablets were shipped to India.

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Sunny Sen is a writer of FactorDaily.