The opportunities for banking in Africa are immense. The region is referred to as a “sleeping giant” when it comes to accessing traditional bank accounts, digital banking, and affordable financial services.
According to the World Bank, 57% of Africans still do not have any kind of bank account, including mobile money accounts. This translates to about 360-million adults in the region and approximately 17% of the total global unbanked population without access to formal financial services, a recent study by BPC and Fincog found.
South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) notes that banking regulations of digital services in most of Africa are slow to evolve, with a study by the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies showing that only 15 African countries have completed national cybersecurity strategies for threat monitoring and response.
This highlights the need for new digital players to provide solutions. It is also the main motivation for an aggressive expansion journey by Pan-African fintech innovator, iiDENTIFii, the company says.
“As digitalisation accelerates across Africa, the demand for liveness detection, identity verification and authentication services has become critical” says Gur Geva, CEO of iiDENTIFii. “Companies require additional security as online identity fraud, impersonations, and cyber-attacks become more sophisticated.
“We believe that we are in a strong position to embrace the opportunities that exist. We understand Africa deeply, and that gives us the edge. iiDENTIFii’s enterprise-grade face authentication platform has trained its algorithm across millions of face match operations in Africa, encompassing thousands of unique ethnicities across the continent. Our vision is to be the leading enterprise-grade identity verification and authentication provider on the continent.”
iiDENTIFii is rolling out across 20 countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and DRC, following increased demand from both new and existing clients who require a trusted identity verification and authentication partner in various jurisdictions.
Geva says that each country has different legal and regulatory requirements.
“We have integrated with most of the largest South African banks who have expanded throughout Africa and have a wide footprint on the continent. It makes it easier for us to echo their expansions.”
Partnerships with Microsoft, KPMG, BCX and Endeavor offer opportunities to further increase iiDENTIFii’s footprint in Africa.
“Our investors, like Arise, are enabling huge opportunities in the banking and financial services sectors.”
Geva believes the African market is ready for enterprise-grade identity verification (IDV) offerings. There are smaller companies who are involved in IDV in Africa, but few can deliver the enterprise-grade security and customer experience, and at scale.