The Role of Barcodes in Biometric Identity Management

calendar_month April 2, 2020

Yes, you read it right, we are referring to the same barcodes that are used in a local supermarket or a retail outlet in the nearest mall. From your experience in the mall, you should have understood that barcodes carry some pricing information that is read by the scanner at the Point of Sale counter. So let us come to a basic conclusion that barcodes can help carry some data that can be read by the devices at the authentication point.

Let us now park the discussion about barcodes for a while and let us look at biometric identity management as a concept. Let’s take one use case to understand this concept. The citizens of a country would like to consume the entitlements provided by the government, however, governments do have the challenge to identify who are the actual beneficiaries among the citizens to consume the entitlements.

To address these issues, governments depend on Biometric Identity Management based on demographics like face photo, fingerprint or Iris are captured and stored. These demographics are authenticated at the time of delivering the entitlements to the actual beneficiaries. This removes the fraud in the system. We have learnt that the demographics are stored, they are mostly stored in a smart card which is given to all beneficiaries.

Now going back to our initial discussion, bar codes are all set to replace smart cards to store the beneficiary demographic data. The system is based on barcode reader technology. The system can be easily accessed by the government and most importantly, the reports can be generated in real-time processing, thus, providing valuable information about the beneficiaries. At the time of authentication, the officials use the barcode reader to read the beneficiary barcodes and if the demographics are authenticated, they deliver the entitlements to the beneficiary.

With this advancement, barcodes are ready to play an active role in Biometric Identity Management shortly. For more information on the subject, you can write to us at We would be happy to answer/ educate you on any of the related concepts.