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Fraudsters do not discriminate. As we continuously move towards the adoption of a digital and more importantly ‘touchless’ era, the platform for fraud increases. Fraud is a fraudster’s business and they often use the same business tactics we use in legitimate business, the difference being that they don’t have customers, they have victims. Thanks to an increase in data breaches, fraudsters are motivated and armed with the correct information, meaning that are very capable of impersonating an individual. The impacts of this are catastrophic.
This was the warning sounded by Dalene Deale, Executive Head of Secure Citizen at the recently held SAFPS Fraud Summit. Having been a victim of identity theft herself, she knows the impact it can have on a person and the importance behind creating an environment that fights against the growing nature of this challenge.
It is not all ‘doom and gloom’ though, technology and innovation is not the enemy. Technology can be used to ensure that digital inclusivity is possible through innovation and collaboration
Responding to a challenge
Secure Citizen was created through a collaboration with the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) and OneVault in response to a rapid growth in identity theft following online fraud.
“The objective of Secure Citizen is to focus on a key core functionality that enables both businesses and individuals to interact in a trusted, delightful and easy manner. In South Africa we are fortunate to have an established Identity System governed by the Department of Home Affairs, but many individuals do not participate in the digital economy due to the high levels of fraud or due to a lack of understanding/knowledge. Our Secure Citizen aim is to drive digital inclusivity, which underpins and enable financial inclusion,” says Manie van Schalkwyk, CEO of the SAFPS.
“From a consumer perspective, a digital identity solution must be based an individual’s unique attributes, it must be easy to use, real time and it has to enable trust. The solution must not discriminate against income, gender, geographical location, or even your choice in mobile phone. For companies, the solution must be interoperable; it cannot discriminate against legacy or future systems, or the maturity of a company’s digital transformation journey. It must be affordable; available to any business regardless of size, whether your business is classified as SMME or Enterprise. Every business in our country has to be able to verify the identity of their existing and potential customers, employees and even directors of their partners,” says Deale.
One of the major challenges when it comes to combatting fraud is, besides the fact that fraudsters are increasingly motivated and have relatively easy access to personal information, the cost of protecting yourself against impersonation fraud can get expensive as it is a crime that targets a single person on a continued basis.
Through verifications based on the DHA database, the SAFPS was able to save South African companies some R4.4B – an 86% increase year-on-year in 2020.
“The question remains, how much of this is due to the supply and demand rule and the cost of the technology required to meet the required compliance. The flip side to this is that it is not just a compliance exercise, but it is a requirement to keep consumer information safe while combatting the massive growth in fraud. Both SAFPS and Secure Citizen have highlighted the massive growth in impersonation fraud that increased by 337% Year on Year. Secure Citizen’s philosophy is that combatting fraud should be a joint effort between businesses and individuals and it should be affordable to businesses regardless of their size,” says Deale.
She added that this is why the partnership between Secure Citizen and the SAFPS is key. “Not only is the SAFPS the trusted custodian of fraud prevention in Southern Africa, but they are also a Not-for-Profit organisation. Secure Citizen, as the Digital Identity arm of SAFPS aims to ensure that Fraud is no longer reactive, but proactive on the part of the individual and the businesses that serve them,” says Deale.
Fraud is not only committed by fraudsters who target individuals, often, companies become massive targets as well. Statistics show that during times of economic recession, the instances of company fraud increase as people become increasingly desperate.
This is where the benefit of Secure Citizen, from a Know Your Customer (KYC) point of view stands out.
“We have seen instances where information is used to create fake identities and fraudsters then impersonate their victims and take out credit and run up debt. The individual being scammed only finds out when it is too late. It is important to highlight in this scenario, there are two victims, the individual and the business has been scammed. For the individual, trying to get back control of your identity is extremely difficult. You cannot go to Home Affairs and ask for a new identity. This means that individuals are reactive, and it is usually only at this point that they hear about SAFPS for the first time. Unfortunately, we also see new desperate measures being taken by individuals where they use a new smart ID to take out a line of credit, spend it and then come back weeks later and claim it was not them, showing an old ID card. The store staff are left with a conundrum, trying to prove the legitimacy of the application, which unfortunately also highlights that companies are often impacted by losing goods and cash. Trust is being broken on both sides,” says Deale.
Secure Citizen solves both challenges by bridging the gap between businesses and individuals in an interactive process. Our ability to get the person to verify using a selfie which is verified in near real time, means that the face of the individual is verified and married to the transaction in a POPI compliant manner.
“As a consumer, I would want the service providers that I engage with to be a 100% sure whether they are dealing with me when an application is done in my name, using my information. I have had identity theft and it is a terrible experience. If only the person in the store of my telco service provider was able to verify my face in real time, I would not have had two fraudulent upgrades done against my name,” says Deale.
Creating a protective, and proactive future
“As a society, it is important that we move towards creating a world where the fight against fraud becomes protective and proactive. We need to protect consumers and this needs to be done in a proactive manner. We cannot always be reactive when it comes to fraud,” says Van Schalkwyk.
“Secure Citizen will be making this solution available directly to the public to enrol themselves into the Secure Citizen Database at no cost. We believe that using your biometrics is your birth right. Nobody should be able to use your information without your knowledge and without your permission,” says Deale.
Both Van Schalkwyk and Deale added that another benefit to the public is that Secure Citizen makes it possible for them to see which companies have used their data via Secure Citizen’s system. However, these businesses will be able to see how many companies have used the same Secure Citizen persona for verification. This is referred to as triple blindness, that data belongs to the individual, so we do not disclose the information of the companies to anyone other than the individual.
“We are confident that Secure Citizen, in collaboration with the SAFPS, will make meaningful change in the fight against fraud,” concludes Van Schalkwyk.
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Naked is South Africa’s first fully digital insurance platform offering comprehensive and instant cover for cars, homes, contents, and standalone items
· New innovative business model aims to make insurance more accessible and restore trust in how insurance works
· Naspers invests R120 million (US$8.3m) with the balance of the round funded by existing investors
· Naspers Foundry’s 2nd insurtech investment, and its largest investment to date
Naspers, through its early-stage tech investment vehicle Naspers Foundry, announced a R120 million (US$8.3m) investment in Naked, the artificial intelligence (AI)-driven insurtech company that offers a new, fully digital way for consumers to insure their cars, homes, and valuables. The transaction is Naspers Foundry’s second insurtech investment in two weeks and its biggest investment to date. The investment is part of Naspers’s R1.4 billion commitment to grow South Africa’s early-stage tech ecosystem through Naspers Foundry.
Co-founded by actuaries Alex Thomson, Sumarie Greybe, and Ernest North, Naked uses AI and automation to create a new type of insurance experience. Built from scratch and free from legacy processes and systems, Naked is pioneering a business model that aims to restore trust in how insurance works. Consumers benefit from lower costs as well as more control of – and convenience in – their insurance experience. They can get a final insurance quote for their home, its contents, their standalone items or their car in less than 90 seconds, and switch or pause their cover, all online, without speaking to a contact centre agent.
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa CEO of Naspers, said: “South Africans are in general underinsured when it comes to short-term personal insurance. While this is often due to price, consumer distrust and complexity have led to a misunderstanding of insurance. Naked’s offering is convenient, transparent and passes the cost savings from its innovative technology on to customers. It improves financial inclusion, in line with Naspers Foundry’s objective of investing in technology businesses that have a positive impact on society.”
Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said: “We’re excited to support Naked in their journey of pioneering a new generation of insurance, giving consumers access to convenience, control and savings with its end-to-end digital processes. This fits in with our focus of backing purpose-driven technology businesses. Investing in Naked is consistent with the portfolio we’ve built to date and Naspers Foundry’s healthy pipeline of potential future investments.”
Alex Thomson, Co-founder of Naked, commented: “Our ambition is to build insurance that people love by offering an experience that is affordable, convenient and transparent. We have come a long way since our launch in 2018 towards meeting these goals, including enabling customers to buy cover online in seconds, allowing them to claim and manage cover on our award-winning app, and passing on huge savings through sustainably lower premiums.”
“But this is just the start of our journey to reinvent insurance. We are excited to have an investor of Naspers Foundry’s calibre onboard to work with us as we expand our team, continue to invest in the technology that puts customers in control, meet the insurance needs of a growing portion of the SA market and enter into international markets.”
Existing Naked investors, Yellowwoods and Hollard, also participated in the funding round, endorsing Naked’s growth plans and its success in rebuilding insurance for social good.
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GLENFIDDICH UNVEILS OPULENT NEW ADDITION TO THE GRAND SERIES
The world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky unveils exquisite 26 year old expression finished in French Cognac casks.
Glenfiddich, the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Whisky, has unveiled Grande Couronne, the newest addition to Grand Series. The maverick whisky brand continues to challenge conventions with the unexpected marriage of two luxury worlds.
Grande Couronne is a 26 year old whisky matured in American and European oak casks at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, before the crowning glory – an extended finish of up to two years in meticulously sourced French Cognac casks – providing a true taste of elegance.
The Glenfiddich Grand Series is a beautifully disruptive series of single malts that oozes opulence and is designed to elevate occasions and celebratory moments in a whole new way. Grande Couronne is the latest addition to the series, which includes Glenfiddich Grand Cru, aged for 23 years in American and European Oak casks and then finessed in French cuvée oak casks and Glenfiddich Gran Reserva, patiently mellowed for 21 years in bourbon casks before a final flourish in Caribbean rum casks.
Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, commented: “The Grand Series perfectly encapsulates Glenfiddich’s spirit of innovation and our ability to experiment with aged liquid and intriguing finishes. Grande Couronne is the latest to exemplify that approach. It is the only Glenfiddich single malt that has matured in American and European oak casks and finished in rare French Cognac casks. The length of the finish, two years, is highly unusual and adds extra layers of sweet toasted oak and velvety aromas of café crème, brown sugar and soft spice.”
The bottle and packaging are adorned with an ornamental gold filigree, whilst exquisite artwork reminiscent of great renaissance paintings are revealed inside the box. Glenfiddich Gran Reserva’s bottle and packaging has also received a stylish redesign, echoing the vibrancy and warmth of the liquid.
Claudia Falcone, Glenfiddich Global Brand Director comments, “Glenfiddich’s maverick spirit is very much alive and well in this new release. Grande Couronne adds a crowning glory to any occasion offers a true taste of opulence and brings together the unexpected marriage of two luxury worlds.”
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