IrisGuard, the world-leader in iris-enabled payments, triumphs at the GLOMOs at MWC Barcelona 2021

UK, July 14th 2021

IrisGuard are delighted to have won a GLOMO Award, Best Mobile Innovation Supporting Emergency or Humanitarian Situations for “Covid-safe mobile iris payment solution, enabling uninterrupted access to aid for millions”. The Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards celebrate the companies and individuals driving innovation in the rapidly evolving mobile industry.


Under the Tech4Good category the award was presented live by Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. As IrisGuard are a long-term supporter and practitioner of five of the main UN SDGs, this was particularly meaningful as it was he who led the mobile industry in becoming the first sector to broadly commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016 and is now spearheading initiatives to accelerate the mobile industry’s impact in all 17 of the SDGs. 

Making the final 5 shortlist, IrisGuard was judged against strong contenders including Asiacell in Iraq, and, SK Telecom and the Korean Red Cross. The Judges had this to say about our win “An effective technology and good solution, particularly for a refugee community, but with many other potential humanitarian applications.”

The GSMA’s CEO, John Hoffman commented, “Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of the GSMA’s GLOMO Awards 2021. You truly embody the theme of this year’s event, Connected Impact. Given the particularly challenging circumstances we’ve all faced over the last 15 months, it’s more important than ever to come together to recognise the incredible innovation and ingenuity shaping our industry, as well as the positive impact this is making on the world around us.”

For IrisGuard, the deployment of usage this award recognises started in 2019. Building upon our EyeCloud® back-end services the EyePay® Phone allowed humanitarian support to be delivered daily direct to the point of need whilst still maintaining safe contactless practices and providing iris biometric proof-of-life. Donor accountability and personal entitlement was protected and there was no requirement to use any other form of ID documents or cards, which can often be lost or fraudulently used. Currently utilized by nearly 40 UN agencies and NGOs in partnership with banks, post offices, mobile wallets and national ID schemes, our systems provide a targeted financial platform for regular distribution of aid, pensions, social welfare and ever more increasingly, cash assistance.

Our latest innovations have allowed not just un-interrupted supply during Covid lockdown but expansion of the service into homes and greater local support. Over 2.7 million people, who had no other means of receiving access to aid in cash and food continue to receive support during this current pandemic.

Simon Reed, Deputy Director of IrisGuard commented on the win, “The strategic introduction of the unique iris EyePay® Phone in 2019 dramatically increased the ability to serve more refugees and people in need quickly and efficiently. Winning this award as a true Tech4Good deployment makes me extremely proud personally and for the whole team at IrisGuard.”

About IrisGuard

IrisGuard are the world leader in iris recognition payment services, providing a secure and scalable system for targeted transfer of assistance payments, EMRs management or border control. Their powerful technology authenticates transactions without any other ID, ensuring 100% accurate proof-of-life in real time on a one-to-many basis. They’ve been leading the way in this sector for the past 20 years.

UK based iris recognition and payment technology company operating in 11 countries and a trusted long-term partner of the UNHCR, WFP, UN Women, NGOs and retail banks. An associate member of the GSMA, mobile phone developer and a vanguard member of the Million Lives Club , also members of CaLP (Cash Learning Partnership).

Their products and services are driving financial assistance for millions of unbanked who are now able to receive cash from ATMs and mobile cash-out agents, buy their food in supermarkets and receive their regular pension payments using solely their eyes as a proof of life. They have integrated with the world’s largest Blockchain for humanitarian aid Building Blocks. whilst able to operate in challenging environments with poor connectivity requiring one-time only registration, empowering financial inclusion and gender equality of vulnerable people without bank accounts.

About GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.