Smile ID, the leading identity verification authority in Africa, has announced a significant milestone of surpassing 100 million identity verifications across the continent. This achievement coincides with the release of their groundbreaking 2024 report on Digital Identity Fraud in Africa, which reveals an alarming increase in identity fraud incidents in Africa.
Drawing on anonymised data from its extensive verification checks, Smile ID's report highlights a steady rise in fraudulent activities over the last four years, with a particular surge in recent quarters. The comprehensive analysis detailed in the report points to an urgent need for digital businesses, especially in the financial sector, to bolster their defences against increasingly sophisticated identity fraud tactics.
African companies have felt the sting of cybercriminals using false identities to bypass security measures, resulting in significant financial damage and eroding trust in digital platforms. Smile ID's report highlights the escalation of document and biometric fraud, which saw a 17% incidence rate in the final quarter of 2023, indicating a critical area for immediate action.
The report is a treasure trove of insights into fraudster tactics, patterns, and regional and industry-specific trends. It is a pivot from Smile ID's previous biannual State of KYC reports, representing a significant move by the company to tackle identity fraud in Africa head-on.
The analysis notes a shift in fraud from new account creation to existing account exploitation, suggesting a need for businesses to implement continuous risk monitoring and robust multi-factor authentication processes.
Mark Straub, CEO of Smile ID, underscores the report's value: "As the digital landscape in Africa evolves, so must our approaches to secure it. This report is a pivotal resource for businesses seeking to understand and mitigate the risks of financial fraud stemming from identity theft. Our position within the African digital ecosystem provides a unique perspective, offering actionable intelligence to aid businesses in refining their fraud prevention strategies."
The report also delves into various critical topics, including:
- The widespread fraud linked to National IDs
- Fraud trends by region
- Insights tailored to specific industries
- A guide on how businesses can create an anti-fraud system
- The growing threat of artificial intelligence to identity verification
- Future developments in fraud prevention
Some key takeaways are:
- The last four years have seen a consistent increase in fraud rates across Africa
- The average Document and Biometric fraud rate has increased for six consecutive quarters since Q2 2022.
- Fraudsters are evolving towards biometric fraud, with rates reaching a record-high 13% in Q4 2023.
- 80% of ID fraud attacks are concentrated on national identity documents, making them the most exploited ID type.
And lots more.
Smile ID's Digital Identity Fraud Report is vital for combating fraud across Africa. Read it here