How A New App Is Fighting Identity Fraud In South Africa

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Written by Ann Brown

A new locally developed application, or app, called WhoYou™ aims to combat the rising identity fraud cases in South Africa. The app turns smartphones into advanced ID fingerprint scanners.

According to the latest statistics from the South African Police Service (SAPS), the app is much needed as 83,823 commercial crime cases were reported from January to March 2019. That’s a 14% increase from 2018.

Around 65,964 cases from those were classified as fraud and a great number of them consisted of identity fraud.

Story from The South African. Story by Junie Sihlangu.

‘What the mobile app does is to try and make identity verification more accessible in order to tackle the scourge. The WhoYou app will allow South Africans to verify who they’re dealing with by taking a photo of the person’s two thumbprints using their smartphone’s camera.

Within seconds, WhoYou will send the thumbprints electronically to the National Population Register (NPR) if the individual has, of course, consented. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) maintains the NPR’s database.

The WhoYou user will then receive confirmation the individual’s identity from the DHA in line with their security standards. The app has opened up this capability to businesses and individuals with any smartphone, anywhere in the country.

Craig Hills, Business Development Director of Fides Cloud Technologies explained: “Already major sectors in society have entrusted Fides Cloud Technologies to provide biometric verification of identities engaged in multiple sensitive transactions. Recent breakthroughs in mobile biometric technology will now enable WhoYou to bring this locally developed capability to more South African businesses, and individuals, than ever before.”

He further explained the origins of the app saying: “WhoYou is developed by South African biometric technology company Fides Cloud Technologies. Fides (Latin for faith or trust) was founded in 2011 and is a fully registered credit bureau that complies with the requirements of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to secure and protect personal data.”

Read more at The South African.