Local digital identity innovation

October 2012 Access Control & Identity Management

The recent Identity Indaba saw, among other presentations, the introduction of a new South African innovation in digital identity management. It is called GreenBox and it takes identity management to a new level.

That is according to Alan Goodway, business development executive: Innovation at Business Connexion who says that not only does GreenBox capture multiple types of identity data; it also provides an identity-verification platform – all from a single device.

GreenBox combines a camera, fingerprint reader, document scanner, digital signature pad with an interactive touch-screen, EMV-compliant smartcard reader, USB connection, device drivers and plug-and-play capabilities straight into Microsoft-based operating systems.

All this comes in a desktop unit that weighs under 2 kg and has a footprint less than an A4 notepad.

Multiple applications for secure ID management

Goodway says that the process of account take-on provides an example that illustrates the extensive capabilities of GreenBox.

“Let us say I want to open an account at Supa-Dupa Stores. First, GreenBox takes a 20 mega-pixel picture of me. It then scans my SA ID book – or my driver’s licence or even my passport. Next on the ID data-capture list comes my fingerprints, followed by my signature on the digital pad. The interactive touch screen also gives me a choice of account-services that I might want.

“Supa-Dupa now has a picture of me, a digital fingerprint record, a copy of my ID book and my digitised signature. They also know what type of account I want and the services I would like to have associated with it – statements by e-mail or in the post, for example.”

Once the comprehensive data-capture process is completed, GreenBox can run the new customer’s ID details through a credit bureau to make sure they are good for the money. It can verify the details against the National Centre for Certified Identities (NCCI). It can even link up with a smartcard printer to make a temporary Supa-Dupa store card. And the customer can then swipe that through the GreenBox smartcard reader to pay for all their purchases.

In summary of the outcomes from this process, Goodway says, “In the space of a few minutes, the new customer has been FICA’d or RICA’d all in one go. Supa-Dupa has got a new, trusted and credit-approved customer with all the supporting documents in their digital document archive. And the customer has jumped at their special offer on a new smartphone and bought one.”

Case study: micro-lending industry

Goodway says that Business Connexion has already developed a blueprint solution for the financial services sector – in particular for the rapidly expanding local business of micro-lending.

One objective was to structure a solution that could accelerate and reinforce security within the existing process that manages the lender’s sales representatives across a distributed geographical environment. For new representatives, this process begins with a take-on and background screening function. The BCX solution reduces the time taken to complete this from around two weeks to just two days.

Simultaneously, it creates a de-duplicated database of representatives whose access to the lenders’ IT systems is then controlled by fingerprint-based authentication through the SuperSign software platform. For example, when an approved representative wants to load new loan agreements, system-access is no longer based on a password, PIN or card but through fingerprint identification of the agent.

Using GreenBox, the new representative’s identity data and fingerprints are captured and a validity-check is run through the National Centre for Certified Identities – the NCCI. This initial ‘quick-check’ confirms gender, telephone numbers, name and SA ID number.

If all is in order, a more detailed background check is automatically run through MIE. “The initial quick-check avoids the expense of having to conduct MIE screening on new personnel whose ID data might be clearly problematic,” says Goodway, “And the solution’s fingerprint component also ensures that staff are enrolled only once across the enterprise.”

By creating a centralised biometric database, Business Connexion is also able to use this identity data to manage physical access to the organisation’s offices. Goodway says, “This capability provides true convergence between HR’s take-on function, physical access control, time and attendance monitoring and control of IT access and activity – all within a single, centrally-managed solution.”

Architecture of the micro-lending solution

In terms of environmental maturity, GreenBox is also advanced because of its paperless management of identity data and all the associated paperwork for identification-compliances such as FICA and RICA.

As Goodway points out, “Conventional forms do not have to be designed, printed, packaged, distributed, filled-in, photocopied or physically stored. The whole process can be automated with GreenBox and the traditional costs associated with all this are eliminated by digital management of identity-related data.”

For more information contact Alan Goodway, Business Connexion, +27 (0)11 266 1483.

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