The costs that will be inflicted on the already dwindling South African economy during the coming period of enforced quarantine will be exponential. With the majority of the nation homebound, businesses need to explore all possible options in order to stay operational and keep on accommodating consumer needs.
Business solutions need to be geared toward serving consumers whilst fully supporting Coronavirus mitigation procedures. In the wake of the latter, the most promising solution right now is for businesses to digitise processes and prepare for online migration.
Digital transformation during the COVID-19 crisis
Crisis endorses change. Digital transformation in business has long been a topic of serious discussion, and businesses who have web-enabled their processes currently have the upper hand in the midst of the pandemic. Since the commencement of the lockdown in Italy, researchers have seen major influxes in online transactions, and we predict to see the same activity in South Africa during the coming weeks.
Businesses that have shown reluctance to the digitisation of procedures up until now are suddenly confronted with the urgency to adapt. These businesses should be reassured that it is not too late to embrace transformation.
Remote online onboarding for virus mitigation
During this difficult and unpredictable time, especially whilst consumers are confined in quarantine, remote onboarding will allow them to carry on with at least some of their day-to-day activities online. Many industries such as retail, telecommunications, and financial services already offer quick and seamless online onboarding, and so, remote transacting is no new concept to consumers. In fact, consumers have become so used to shopping via web-interfaces and mobile applications, that they have come to expect such innovations from other industries as well.
Digital identification and verification at the centre
Every online transaction, whether it is buying a product, signing up for a contract or booking a hotel room, begins with an individual identifying themselves and registering an account. It is for this reason that digital identity verification forms the cornerstone of secure remote onboarding. Once a consumer’s identity is verified, businesses have proof that they are transacting with someone who is in fact who they claim to be, thereby keeping fraudsters out of their ecosystem.
Through online identity verification, companies are protected from risk, consumers are protected from identity theft and both parties are guaranteed a secure interaction. Digital identity is, therefore, the best starting point for remote customer onboarding.
Digital identity verification through facial recognition
Whilst there are many methods of identity verification available, biometric facial recognition through liveness detection and AI has become the preferred method in non-face-to-face environments across the globe. It is a contactless process that allows consumers to open accounts through conducting quick facial scans via a web interface or mobile app. Once scanned, the sophisticated software matches the consumer’s facial features to their photo on Home Affairs records. Additionally, it determines liveness to further prevent attempts at identity fraud. Facial verification works in real-time, meaning that it can take as little as 6 seconds to generate results. Once completed, the service provider is supplied with the necessary information to continue onboarding consumers with confidence.
An imperative short and long term solution
The prevention of fraud, and the provision of seamless onboarding, has long been common benefits of using digital identity verification. Digital identity now holds the extra and most impactful benefit that is Coronavirus mitigation. It is the most efficient way for businesses to protect their companies as well as their consumers.
Remote onboarding is a short as well as long term investment in the continued prosperity of any business – not just during times of crisis, but all of the time.