Absa launches fingerprint verification at branches

Absa announced today (8 November 2011) that it is the first bank to go live with a link to the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS), which they say enables the biometric identification of current and prospective clients.

In its press statement, Absa said that it is participating in an industry-wide initiative that allows the banks in South Africa to conduct online fingerprint verification of its clients.

This initiative has been piloted since last year (2010), Absa said, and is the result of a 2007 co-operation agreement between the South African Banking Risk Identification Centre (Sabric) and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to jointly address bank-related identity fraud.

Absa’s head of face-to-face channels, Alfred Ramosedi, said that during the pilot at seven Absa branches, seven cases where applicants tried to fraudulently use the identities of deceased persons to open accounts were detected.

The full press release is below:

Absa today announced that it will be participating in an industry-wide initiative that allows the banks in South Africa to conduct online fingerprint verification of its clients as one of many possible checks before engaging a consumer.

The South African Banking Risk Identification Centre (Sabric) and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) entered into a co-operation agreement in 2007 to jointly address bank-related identity fraud.

In terms of the initiative, the DHA will allow banks access to the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to enable the biometric identification of current and prospective clients. The initiative has been piloted since last year.

“Absa is the first bank to go live with the DHA interface. Primarily, this service enables Absa to verify and authenticate client identity, thus limiting identity fraud.

“Being a customer-centric organisation, Absa will embrace any endeavour that seeks to protect our clients against crimes such as fraud and identity theft,” says Alfred Ramosedi, Absa’s Managing Executive for Face-to-Face Channels.

He adds that during the pilot at seven Absa branches, seven fraudulent cases whereby applicants tried to utilise the identities of deceased persons to open accounts, were detected.

In addition to fraud prevention, the HANIS pilot also indicates many other positive trends.

“From an Absa perspective, this initiative is part of a bigger programme to increase efficiencies in our account opening process, thus making it easier for customers’ to conduct business with the bank. Through this program we also aim to reduce paper consumption as all customer documentation will be electronically stored,” explains Ramosedi.

“This is significant, especially as environmental considerations become increasingly critical to our business processes and practices,” he adds.

“Ultimately, the overall customer experience will be improved,” Ramosedi concludes.

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Recommended

Share this article
Absa launches fingerprint verification at branches