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Biometrics companies pitch better customer experience to African businesses


Biometrics could make life easier for customers and the businesses providing services alike. Applications and platforms from established technology providers such as Daon and African startups could enable financial services in Africa to leapfrog legacy digital identification methods and progress straight to biometric verification.

Nigeria: Daon promotes digital onboarding, leveraging trust

Daon president for EMEA and APAC, Clive Bourke, called on banks and fintechs to improve their biometric authentication offers to increase their customer bases and prevent fraud, speaking at a roundtable meeting Daon held in Lagos, Nigeria.

The biometrics specialist gathered companies from the telecoms and financial sector such as FirstBank, EcoBank, StanbicIBTC and UBA for a meeting to promote the digital possibilities of adopting biometrics-based customer verification rather than relying on potential customers visiting physical premises. The same systems will also prevent fraud as large numbers sign up for financial products.

“The potential for growth is very significant. Presently, I think we are at the course of starting, it is not significantly developed, there is some good things done already. The truth really is that Nigeria has a growing volume of banking customers. Within that growing of banking customers, there is a growing adoption digitally,” said Bourke, as reported by This Day.

According to a company blog post on the event, the software company is making rapid progress on the continent: “In the two years that Daon has been operating in Africa, we’ve seen tremendous growth as more banks move toward digital transformation and seek a competitive edge by embracing innovative technologies.”

South Africa: Biometrics and regtech apps to tackle fraud

Two app-based anti-fraud systems will be coming online in South Africa, fundraising permitting for one of them. The non-profit Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) is launching its Secure Citizen App which will allow users to provide voice samples and photos for biometric verification, as reported by IT News Africa.

If a user provides biometrics when applying for credit at a financial institution which is an SAFPS member (biometric capture is common in South African banks), the institution contacts SAFPS who sends a text message to the applicant. If the user confirms to SAFPS that he did apply for credit, SAFPS, which has previously launched voice biometric authentication in call centers, will compare the biometrics they have on file with those captured at the bank.

Also in South Africa, Intergreatme launched a R24M (USD $1.67M) equity drive on the Uprise Africa crowdfunding platform to develop an identity management platform for SMEs on May 20, and by May 21 when Biometric Update checked, it had already raised R28.5m and subsequently closed the pitch at the R32.6m mark.

The platform is a form of regtech which creates a digital ID and digital vault of one’s documents, and possibly even use the ID for boarding flights, according to the crowdfunding listing. Users can register trusted connections and use the Intergreatme app to fill out digital forms. Businesses will be able to use the system for compliance and verification.

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