Smile Identity: Onboard, Verify, and Authenticate Users Across Africa

Mark Straub


"We are an accelerant of the growth of fintech and shared economy companies because they know when they spend money on customers, those are real customers because they have done verification with us."

ID verification and KYC compliance issues don't have to stifle expansion. Smile Identity will handle the technology while a firm can concentrate on what matters. In some areas, Smile Identity may onboard consumers with just a picture or can level up the security to fulfill tiered KYC standards with ID validation, liveness checks, bank account verification, and address verification. Smile Identity's software and APIs are used by over a hundred companies of various sizes, from startups to banks to telecommunications companies, to meet KYC requirements and prevent fraud. They developed an identity management technology that allows customers to conveniently track their information. A neural network of image recognition algorithms and a turnkey solution for any bank, telecom, or application-based service are included in the company's platform. Smile Identity lets organizations expand quickly by authenticating the genuine identity of their consumers in real-time using any smartphone or computer, without requiring any extra gear. Smile Identity's built-in liveness checks, supported by an extra layer of human inspection, make it simple to ensure the clients' authenticity. No high-end phones are necessary to prevent bots and criminal actors.

Smile Identity is Africa's leading provider of real-time Digital KYC, Identity Verification, User Onboarding, Document Verification, Liveness Checks, Face Verification, Anti-fraud, Know Your Business (KYB), and Identity Data Deduplication solutions. They're developing the tools and software that will let millions of Africans authenticate and validate their identities online. On mobile applications and the web, the platform provides SDKs and APIs for User Onboarding, Digital KYC, Identity Verification, Document Verification, Face Verification, Anti-fraud, and ID Validation. Smile Identity protects the data and that of the customers and workers with the most modern security methods commercially available. They act as a data processor for their partners in each area, with local incorporation and compliance. Smile Identity provides an SDK that allows developers to get up and running quickly, whether they're onboarding customers to an Android, iOS, or hybrid mobile app, or completing KYC from a server-based or web application written in Java, .NET, PHP, Python, or other languages. Smile Identity’s machine learning methods are optimized for Africans. They provide non-surveillance, consent-based financial inclusion, and access to face-verification services. Using their document verification service, one can quickly validate identification papers for various ID kinds across Africa. To secure the business from identity fraud and keep bad actors off the platform, combine Smile Identity's Document Verification with their best-in-class Identity Verification service. In addition to textual identity verification, Smile Identity can validate a user-supplied identity document for any of the supported nations.

Umba, one of Africa's fastest-growing Neobanks, provides consumers with free bank accounts and a variety of financial services via a mobile app. Customers may use their phones to shop, pay bills, borrow money, and get rewards. Umba required an identity verification system that could expand quickly and support them across various nations in 2020, as their expansion grew amid the worldwide epidemic. They needed to be ahead of the curve on compliance and work closely with authorities to develop a superior pan-African Neobank. They needed a partner that could help them not just with identity verification but also with regulatory compliance in multiple African markets with varying regulatory needs. Smile Identity is presently connected to more than 16 African ID agencies and regulatory entities. Smile Identity advised them to utilize their Enhanced KYC + SmartSelfieTM solution to conduct selfie checks on consumers enrolling and transacting on their platform. Umba was able to grow its client base during the epidemic while maintaining KYC compliant in all areas. Their approach helped them reduce fraud by more than 85% during the process.

Smile has been aware of the Eurocentric bias in most face recognition technologies from its inception and has optimized deep transfer learning methods with supervised human review to de-bias state-of-the-art AI models' performance on African faces. Smile Identity is developing the tools and software that will revolutionize how millions of Africans prove and authenticate their identities online. Smile Identity's artificial intelligence and identification verification techniques were created with African looks and identities in mind. Smile Identity is Africa's finest digital KYC (Know Your Customer) solution by integrating government ID validation with proprietary face verification technologies, allowing businesses and institutions to pursue rapid Pan-African expansion with confidence. Mark Straub, CEO of Smile Identity, states, "We are an accelerant of the growth of fintech and shared economy companies because they know when they spend money on customers, those are real customers because they have done verification with us."

Smile Identity's objective is to increase trust in underdeveloped areas so that the benefits of a contemporary digital lifestyle are available to everyone. Smile Identity has attracted the investment of Costanoa Ventures, Future Africa, PTB Ventures, Khosla Impact, 500 Startups, CRE Venture Capital, and others.

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