SA fintech startup DocFox partners law firm to reduce FICA on-boarding


South African fintech startup DocFox has partnered global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright to provide a digital solution to help companies simplify the FICA compliance process.

The South African Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) prescribes that in non-face-to-face interactions, companies must take “reasonable steps” to verify a client’s identity. Certified copies of documents, while commonly used, do not provide concrete proof of authenticity.

DocFox offers higher levels of authentication than current paper-based solutions by conducting various fraud checks using the latest technology to ensure document authenticity and compliance. The tool also simplifies and speeds up the entire process, while all communications with clients can be white-labelled by the institution.

The partnership with Norton Rose Fulbright will see the startup expand its solution internationally using Norton Rose Fulbright’s global presence across Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Central Asia.

“DocFox is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use web application that helps customers submit their FICA documents electronically in a just a few taps.  Customers can upload copies of their proof of identity and address documents, or submit documents using their smartphone camera,” said DocFox chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Ryan Canin.  

Marelise van der Westhuizen, director at Norton Rose Fulbright, said the firm advises many of the world’s leading banks, asset managers, financial investors and insurers and consequently has detailed country-specific regulatory knowledge.

“We have worked with DocFox to codify FICA legislation into intelligent decision engines which assess what is required for every application in a simple, secure and compliant way. We are also closely monitoring know-your-client trends in compliance internationally,” she said.

DocFox’s raised an oversubscribed seed round in July from investors in South Africa and Silicon Valley, which gives the business everything it needs to grow and further refine the product offering. The startup is a gold member of AlphaCode, the Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) club for fintech startup entrepreneurs.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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