- South African banks will soon have access to finger-print data through the Home Affairs department to verify clients.
This follows a landmark agreement signed between the banking sector and the department yesterday.
The SA Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has said the new agreement will allow banks to conduct online fingerprint verification of clients, in a move that will also help curb fraud and identity theft in the country.
The head of SABRIC, Kalyani Pillay was reported in local media saying the banks had been battling to verify the identity of clients because there were so many fraudulent documents in the country.
On the other hand, the Home Affairs spokesperson Siobhan McCarthy was also reported by the Cape Times saying that citizens need not fear that all their personal details would be divulged to banks. "How it will work is, banks will have to take fingerprints with an electronic machine, the kind where you put your thumb on it and the print is read electronically. This information will be transmitted to Home Affairs and the banks will say: 'Do these fingerprints belong to this person?' and we will check and say 'yes' or 'no'. We don't give them any further information," McCarthy said.
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