SA’s ThisIsMe taking online verification tool global

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South African startup ThisIsMe, which provides software that allows a user to prove their identity, has expanded into Australasia and Southeast Asia and has its eyes on Europe and the rest of Africa.

Launched in 2014, ThisIsMe, which is available on iOS and Android, allows a user to prove their identity and that they are still alive in order to prevent fraud such as identity theft.

It has a focus on compliance related to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) in the financial space.

ThisIsMe uses advanced multipoint identity verification and enhanced due diligence to reduce fraud and to ensure a seamless, on-demand know your customer (KYC) process for businesses and consumers.

Depending on the client’s requirements, they will also be able to integrate with ThisIsMe to seamlessly remote onboard their clients, and perform fast KYC – or FICA – processes.

“Our individual users are able to download our app for free and perform P2P identity verification checks, as well as securely store their identity data and share this with our merchant partners to instantly FICA themselves when registering a new account,” said Brennan Wright, head of marketing at ThisIsMe.

“Our users only have to get verified with us once and then they’ll be able to FICA at the click of a button with any one of our merchant partners.”

The service has proven popular, with ThisIsMe signing 50 merchants in 2016 and adding another 23 clients so far in 2017. Wright said the ratification of the FICA Amendment Bill in South Africa is pushing demand through the roof.

The company has also proven popular with investors. Disrupt Africa reported in May of last year ThisIsMe raised US$2.5 million in funding to begin its expansion process. Further expansion is on the cards, with the startup looking to scale up its team, move into a larger office space and expand globally.

What is clear is that ThisIsMe is operating in a space that ensures it has much capacity for growth, combatting slow, paper-based, costly KYC or FICA processes for businesses – including banks and financial services providers.

“Through using ThisIsMe, businesses can reduce their onboarding process from weeks to minutes, at a fraction of the cost, with a higher degree of accuracy, on a digital platform,” Wright said.

“It’s a new, niche industry so there is very little competition in South Africa. Our competitors only offer parts of the full functionality that our suite of solutions provide.”

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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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