[Press Release] Fintech startup DocFox partners with global law firm to reduce FICA on-boarding to seconds
“DocFox is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use web application that helps customers submit their FICA documents electronically in a just a few taps. Customers can upload copies of their proof of identity and address documents, or submit documents using their smartphone camera,” says DocFox CEO and cofounder, Ryan Canin.
Legislation prescribes that in non-face-to-face interactions, companies must take ‘reasonable steps’ to verify a client’s identity. Certified copies of documents, while commonly used, do not provide concrete proof of authenticity.
DocFox offers a higher level of authentication than current paper-based solutions. It conducts various fraud checks using the latest technology to ensure document authenticity and compliance. The tool also simplifies and speeds up the entire process. In addition, all communications with clients can be white-labelled by the institution.
DocFox is now exclusively available to the South African market, with plans to expand internationally via its US investor network and Norton Rose Fulbright’s global presence across Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Marelise van der Westhuizen, Director, Norton Rose Fulbright, says, “Our firm advises many of the world’s leading banks, asset managers, financial investors and insurers and consequently has detailed country-specific regulatory knowledge. We have worked with DocFox to codify FICA legislation into intelligent decision engines which assess what is required for every application in a simple, secure and compliant way. We are also closely monitoring know-your-client trends in compliance internationally.”
Various companies have already signed up to the ‘Know Your Client’ tool. David Lloyd, MD, Liberty Innovate, says, “Our experience with DocFox has been brilliant and helps fulfil our aim of taking FICA from being a pain into a pleasure. Our compliance teams are also satisfied with the solution. DocFox presents an exceptional experience and our policyholders and financial advisers have been impressed with its simplicity and ease of use.”
DocFox’s seed round of investment was oversubscribed, which gives the business everything it needs to grow and further refine the product offering. Canin attracted investment interest from Silicon Valley and South Africa.
DocFox is a gold member of AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments (RMI) club for fintech startup entrepreneurs. Dominique Collett, RMI’s senior investment executive and head of AlphaCode explains, “The regulatory landscape is becoming an exciting space to be playing in. Consequently regtech startups are starting to revolutionise the financial services industry. DocFox has found a way to address a very real problem that all financial institutions face daily while adding tremendous value and removing a real pain point. The partnership with Norton Rose Fulbright makes this startup even more attractive – the backing of a global law firm which has vetted processes gives potential clients peace of mind and DocFox instant credibility.”
FICA is part of know-your-customer (KYC), the process of a business verifying the identity of its clients. KYC policies are used globally to prevent identity theft, financial fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing. The South African Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001 (FICA) came into effect on 1 July 2003. FICA was introduced to fight financial crime and it brings South Africa in line with similar legislation in other countries designed to reveal the movement of monies derived from unlawful activities.