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Smile ID News19 Apr 2023

Smile Identity Verifies 60 Million Identities - That's 4% of Africa!

Megan Keirstead

Product Marketing Manager

The value of identity is undeniable, particularly in the digital economy. As more and more businesses shift their operations online, identity becomes the key factor in determining who can access certain services or information.

“Identity is becoming the new currency of the digital economy” - Mark Straub, CEO of Smile Identity

We know reliable identity verification holds the keys to accessing services for people across Africa, which is why we are so proud to have completed our 60,000,000th identity check. It's an incredible number that equates to doing ID checks on about 4% of the entire population of Africa.

60 million transactions by the data

Out of the 60 million checks we've conducted to date, 72% were approved, while 25% (15M) were rejected as fraud, suspected fraud, or incorrect ID numbers. The remaining 3% are checks that failed or were re-run due to ID authority downtime or other technical reasons.

Since we launched our identity verification platform in 2018, we have come a long way in terms of efficiency and speed. Our KYC checks at Smile Identity now have a median processing time of just 2 seconds, with a record low of 1 second in Q1 of this year. Fast access is a key metric we have been focusing on to make sure the user experience for identity verification checks is as seamless and simple as possible.

Nigeria remains strong, but markets across Africa are growing

While Nigeria has always been our largest market, we've now run a statistically significant number of verifications across 16 countries in Africa. The average quarterly volume of checks run outside Nigeria has grown 350% over the last year, surpassing 1M / quarter for the first time in 2022.

With our release of a Pan-African document verification product covering 96% of African markets, our next goal is to consistently and accurately verify users in every country on the continent.

Witnessing progress in gender equity

We're also seeing some positive trends in terms of gender representation. While we don't always know people's gender, we can estimate it from various measures. The proportion of identity verifications done by women has reached a record high of 31% in Q1 2023, growing from an average of 23% in 2022.

These verifications most often take place at the point of signing up for a new service. While this data on gender representation suggests that this gender gap may be narrowing, the implication that only 31% of online account openings are being initiated by women means there is still work to be done. We sincerely hope that opening up trustworthy access across even more markets gives women the tools they need for financial independence.

The next 60 million!

Trust is paramount in this shift toward a more digital Africa, and reliable remote identity verification holds the keys to achieving high levels of trust in this online environment. We are humbled by our client's trust in us and their growth across Africa.

We're committed to building a #DigitalAfrica that is more equitable and accessible to everyone.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey, and here's to the next 60 million verifications!


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