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FICA in seconds

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Fintech startup DocFox has partnered with global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, to provide a digital solution to help companies simplify the FICA compliance process.

“DocFox is an 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,” says DocFox CEO and cofounder, Ryan Canin.

Legislation 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 a higher level of authentication than current paper-based solutions. It conducts various fraud checks using the latest technology to ensure document authenticity and compliance. The tool also simplifies and speeds up the entire process. In addition, all communications with clients can be white-labelled by the institution.

DocFox is now exclusively available to the South African market, with plans to expand internationally via its US investor network and Norton Rose Fulbright’s global presence across Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Marelise van der Westhuizen, Director, Norton Rose Fulbright, says, “Our 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.”

Various companies have already signed up to the ‘Know Your Client’ tool. David Lloyd, MD, Liberty Innovate, says, “Our experience with DocFox has been brilliant and helps fulfil our aim of taking FICA from being a pain into a pleasure. Our compliance teams are also satisfied with the solution. DocFox presents an exceptional experience and our policyholders and financial advisers have been impressed with its simplicity and ease of use.”

DocFox’s seed round of investment was oversubscribed, which gives the business everything it needs to grow and further refine the product offering. Canin attracted investment interest from Silicon Valley and South Africa.

DocFox is a gold member of AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) club for fintech startup entrepreneurs. Dominique Collett, RMI’s senior investment executive and head of AlphaCode explains, “The regulatory landscape is becoming an exciting space to be playing in. Consequently regtech startups are starting to revolutionise the financial services industry.  DocFox has found a way to address a very real problem that all financial institutions face daily while adding tremendous value and removing a real pain point. The partnership with Norton Rose Fulbright makes this startup even more attractive – the backing of a global law firm which has vetted processes gives potential clients peace of mind and DocFox instant credibility.” 

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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