MEPS Offers Its Financial Gateway to Host Innovative IrisGuard Eye Scanner System for Provision of Food Aid to Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Syrian refugees in Jordan no longer need to use their prepaid electronic cards to purchase their food from local shops thanks to the innovative ‘eye print’ system IrisGuard, through which they can now pay for their purchases. The system was launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Jordan in King Abdullah Park Refugee Camp together with Middle East Payment Services (MEPS) - a leading, innovative payment services provider in the Middle East - Jordan Ahli Bank (JAB), and IrisGuard.   MEPS will host the iris recognition system, IrisGuard, through its financial gateway, serving as a link between the system and JAB. The system works by scanning the shopper’s iris, after which it automatically connects to the biometric database registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to confirm the identity of the beneficiary. The system then automatically connects with JAB to determine the beneficiary’s remaining balance in order to complete the purchase and print out the receipt. This system allows Syrian refugees in camps to buy food from local stores through an iris scan without resorting to cash, vouchers or credit cards.   On the launch of the system, which is seen as a turning point in the food aid program, MEPS CEO, Khaled Zakaria, explained that using the innovative ‘eye print’ system, IrisGuard, will make shopping for food easier and safer for refugees. As for the partnership with WFP, Zakaria said, “We’re proud to be a part of this project and to contribute to the provision of food supplies to refugees in the Kingdom in a simpler and more practical way. All that the beneficiaries need to do is use the POS device equipped with the eye scanner to receive their allocated aid.”   Within the upcoming months, WFP is seeking to expand the use of the iris recognition payment system in its support of Syrian refugees in Jordan. Depending on the success of the system within the camps, WFP might expand the use of this technology to other areas.   Founded in 2009 and owned by eleven local and regional leading banks and companies, MEPS is an innovative, regional payment services provider, offering payment card services, ATM management, secure point-of-sale (POS) devices, e-commerce payment gateway solutions, fraud monitoring and loyalty programs. Additionally, MEPS is a payment processor, card issuer and merchant acquirer.


Ameer Ben Malek, Jordan