ThisIsMe's Mark Chirnside Explains How They Reduce The Know Your Customer Process To 3 Minutes Using Technology

A South African FinTech company, ThisIsMe, has announced that it has reduced a financial compliance process known as Know Your Customer, down to three minutes. The process, which is part of South Africa's Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA), used to take anything from two days to two weeks to complete.

FICA, through a stringent process, requires financial institutions to register all details regarding their customer's identities with the aim of fighting financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing activities.

Mark Chirnside ThisIsMe
Mark Chirnside, CEO at ThisIsMe.

Speaking to iAfrikan, Mark Chirnside, CEO at ThisIsMe, explained that their technology platforms can perform the FICA processes a lot faster and in a more accurate and cost-effective way than previous methods.

"There is no need for paperwork, there are multiple tasks being performed concurrently and our machine learning technology provides accurate verification and validation checks, in real-time," explained Chirnside.

Using proprietary technology they developed, they are able to:

  • Perform a more accurate assessment of the identification details provided.
  • Perform a more thorough validation of the identity documents.
  • Process multiple verifications and validation checks concurrently, in real-time.

South Africa's Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) Act 2017 was signed into law in April 2017, and it is more stringent than the original Act. This meant that it would take longer to complete the process and likely more expensive.

ThisIsMe, through their customers, works as follows:

1. A financial institution's customer uploads an image of their identity document and an image of their proof of address.

2. ThisIsMe's platform assesses whether the documents have been tampered with, or not.

3. The proprietary technology by ThisIsMe then pulls the data from the documents and checks the data against multiple sources for validity.

4. The data is cross-referenced with the claimed identity.

5. A full FICA report is generated for the customer, for the accountable institution financial institution, within a few minutes of the process starting they can then start to transact.

ThisIsMe's customers are the financial services providers, including banks and insurance companies.

"Our Seamless Mobile Onboarding solution allows the aforementioned FICA process to happen from our clients' customer's mobile phone with an additional layer of liveness detection, biometric verification. This solution contains the Fast FICA solution and allows for the onboarding of new customers in a compliant way, from anywhere in the world on a mobile phone, in real-time," added Chirnside.

Currently, the Fintech company has contracts with some of the leading South African banks as well as seventy-eight merchants that include large financial services providers and telecommunications companies.

Chirnside also shared that ThisIsMe will be expanding into South East Asia, Australasia, and other Afrikan countries within the next six months, and they have already put agreements in place.

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