FICA record-breaker ThisIsMe wins African Fintech Awards

ABOVE: Co-founders of ThisIsMe, David Thomas and Juan Furmie.

Cape Town, Tuesday, 17 October 2017: ThisIsMe won top spot at the African Fintech Awards hosted at the Finance Indaba last week. The business tied with Easy Equities after two days of intense pitching battles and an extensive voting process that involved the public. ThisIsMe also claimed the Innovative Banking title, with its focus on fast FICA using multi-factor identity verification, enhanced due diligence and authentication through its platform. ThisIsMe can complete the FICA process in under three minutes – an African record. 

ThisIsMe services 85 merchants including some of SA’s largest financial services business such as Sanlam, Investec and Stanlib. The business has completed over one million verifications and has more than 15 000 individual users. It is expanding into Africa and has global ambitions.

The business solves a number of pain points for consumers. Know Your Customer (KYC) or FICA is a tedious, slow process and businesses are faced with high friction onboarding and compliance costs making FICA expensive. Till recently the process was outdated, inaccurate and largely paper-based which led to high levels of fraud.

David Thomas, co-founder, ThisIsMe
David Thomas, co-founder, ThisIsMe

Explains ThisIsMe, co-founder David Thomas, “ThisIsMe has differentiated its offering by using machine learning for tamper detection and enhanced due diligence and is able to perform high volume checks in real time. By involving the users, ThisIsMe is POPI (protection of personal information act) compliant and is ideal for completion over a mobile phone. We verify that a real residence matches the stated address location, we do real-time bank account verifications and we are able to verify individuals and their creditworthiness using social media account data. We can also involve the user at a later stage, in a compliant manner, given that they have registered as a ThisIsMe user – this is far more efficient than the current system.

“The business is growing and we plan to attract new talent; we are growing globally into Africa and other markets and we are constantly enhancing our technology. We are grateful to be winning a number of awards including the highly regarded Best African Fintech Award for 2017.” 

ThisIsMe reshapes interactions with financial services businesses, particularly banks, by allowing businesses to onboard customers from anywhere, within a few seconds. Identity forms the foundation of trust, which is the backbone of the digital economy. It’s not only financial institutions that require FICA systems. Businesses in property, retail, eCommerce, SMMEs, gambling and many other sectors require efficient FICA processes.

Winning streak

In addition to winning the African Fintech Awards, ThisIsMe has been selected as one of three finalists in the Accenture Innovation Index Awards and it has also recently participated in Gartner’s Aspiring Innovators Programme 2017 which forms part of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.  This is one of the world’s most important gatherings of CIOs and senior IT executives. It was ranked one of the best global Regtech companies by the CB Insights team in 2017. The business has also attracted more than R33 million in investments in 2016.