Smile Identity, Africa's leading identity verification and digital KYC provider, has announced its rebranding to Smile ID. The rebrand includes four new things: a new name (Smile ID), a new logo, a refreshed website and new product updates.
“The simplification of our name—Smile ID—embraces what many people already call us, and moves us to a place where businesses can consolidate more services with one provider," says Mark Straub, Co-founder and CEO of Smile ID.
This rebrand comes five months after the company announced its Series B round to expand its offering and further its pan-African ambition.
So far, the company has made good on those plans. This year, it pushed its document verification product, allowing global businesses to verify user-submitted identity documents, like a driver's licence, against a live selfie. And in April 2023, Smile Identity (now Smile ID) announced the acquisition of Appruve, a Ghana-based ID verification provider.
Since its launch in 2017, Smile ID has completed over 75 million identity verification checks and built a robust KYC/AML suite of products for Africa.
Yet, at least 500 million Africans lack proof of a legal identity, excluding them from digital civil and financial services that could improve their standard of living.
Take, for instance, access to banking and its services like lending. The World Bank estimates that 57% of Africans do not have a bank account. This is partly because many of the unbanked population do not have the required identity documents to pass the KYC process of banks and other financial institutions.
As businesses in Africa grow, basic Know-Your-Customer checks no longer suffice. Smile ID wants to remain the de-facto ID verification and onboarding provider for businesses, even as they mature.
“KYC in Africa is evolving and maturing, and businesses need a lot more than identity verification. They need access to global AML and watchlists, they need to verify the IDs of people from around the world doing business in Africa and support Africans as they travel,” says CEO Straub.
Another sign of a maturing ecosystem is the undoing of fraud. According to its 2022 State of KYC report, 48% of fraud attacks are from stolen identities. Other types of fraud include the creation of multiple accounts to game referral programs or bypass existing account restrictions, Smile ID has launched Smile Secure. Smile Secure is a tool that scans previously checked faces to notify you if a user has previously signed up for your service.
The company has also looked into the no-code implementation of its products that help businesses get up and running with Smile faster. Alongside its rebrand and the launch of Smile Secure, it also announces the coming of Smile Links, set for August 1, 2023.
Smile’s KYC web links, dubbed Smile Links, are pre-built flows that allow end users to take a selfie, enter their ID numbers or upload a document. Businesses that use Smile can simply customise the link—by selecting the desired ID types and verification methods—and share it with their users.
“Over the last six months we have made major investments in our platform which we are rolling out this quarter in conjunction with our new brand. The refreshed brand is simply a reflection of the improvements we have made in our products. For all things ID, we Unlock Digital Africa. We’re Smile ID," concludes Mark Straub, CEO of Smile ID.
You can learn more about Smile ID’s rebrand on their blog.