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Social grants now delivered with biometric identity verification in South Africa


Magix Africa, DataProof and Fides Cloud Technologies are performing biometric identity verification and data management for the South African Post Office’s (SAPO’s) distribution of social grants, Engineering News reports.

The program uses a multimodal biometric matching engine provided by Magix Africa after the company won a SAPO procurement bid in March to prevent fraud and ensure benefits and cards reach the correct recipients. The companies integrated the solution with SAPO and the South African Social Assistance Agency (SASAA) ahead of tight deadlines, according to Engineering News, to make biometric verification available at roughly 4,500 SAPO branches. After a successful pilot at 12 sites, the system went live this month.

“Our entity and software engineers are locally based and have developed solutions for a market that they know intimately well,” says Kevin Wotshela, Managing Director of Magix Africa. “We have the know-how and a multi-modal biometric solution built for our local market. We offer a real-time cloud service solution that no-one else has in the market and which can be deployed anywhere in the world.”

Fides developed its TrustedVault biometric authentication software to verify data over slow internet connections and long distances, and to be deployed and scaled rapidly, whether on-premise or in the cloud. TrustedVault has been deployed for SAPO as a private cloud at the agency’s two data centers in Centurion and Pretoria.
The system currently uses fingerprints to verify the identity of recipients, but is capable of being used with facial recognition or other biometrics.

South Africa’s government recently announced the launch of a new ABIS under the Department of Home Affairs’ Modernisation Programme.

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