Billions of rands could be saved through personal identification verification system tools that will be used in banks to combat fraud, according to the Department of Home Affairs.
The Home Affairs National Identification System (Hanis), which allows banks to verify the identity of prospective and current clients using their fingerprints, has been a powerful tool in combating fraud, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, said yesterday.
“Reports received from banks show syndicates now know that they cannot get away with ID photo replacements due to the Hanis verification, and that identity fraud has therefore decreased.” He said the service potentially prevented R322 million in losses through fraud per month.
“An annual potential prevention estimate could come to about R3.8 billion [annually]. We are mindful, also, of the difficulty entailed in quantifying identity fraud,” added Gigaba. The department had also made significant strides in insurance fraud claims.
“A link to the national population register allows stakeholders to verify various aspects of personal identity and documents like death certificates,” said Gigaba. He said by using this system, participating insurance companies have been able to fast-track the payment of valid claims in favour of beneficiaries who, at times, desperately need funds.
“It has lowered in significant ways the number of fraudulent claims that are paid by insurance companies. This has resulted in companies saving millions of rands.” Last year, 7 360 fraudulent claims were stopped, compared to just 2 093 in 2013.