by Pravesh Jugun, Head of Technology, Aspira Kenya

Launched in May 2018, Aspira has grown to become the preferred product financing fintech in Kenya and partners with the biggest and most reputable retailers. It enables Kenyans to buy goods and services ranging from household appliances, to furniture, personal electronics and motorcycles on credit and to pay in up to 12 months.

Through the Aspira app and portal, applicants can easily go through the whole process, from the application to the disbursement, in no more than two (2) hours.

To date, Aspira has:

• disbursed more than 18,000 loans

• served more than 15,000 clients

• financed more than KES 660m of loans and more than KES 735m of credit purchases

As a responsible lender, it is also crucial for Aspira to protect its customers from any identity theft or fraud. We have therefore, invested in Facial Recognition technology to transform our authentication process, reduce turnaround time and protect our customers.

At Aspira, we firmly believe that anyone should be able to prove his/her identity easily, anytime and anywhere, at no additional cost to the customer. Our biometric technology was launched in May 2020 and we saw over the months that the application of Facial Recognition has significantly improved the turnaround time for our identity KYC “Know Your Customer” checks as well as fraud elimination and security of our customer data. It has also reduced operational risks and brought in more effectiveness by relieving all parties from multiple layers of input and documentation. More importantly, it protects our clients from identity theft, in instances where somebody is trying to use a forged identity document to obtain a facility or obtain account information.

How Does It Work?

Facial Recognition uses biometric technology that helps to recognize and verify the identity of our customers by scanning and analyzing their face, as well as comparing it with their official documents. During face-to-face interactions or through documents received, the human eye may not detect the subtle differences that may exist, especially for persons who look similar. Facial recognition technology can identify these subtleties more precisely.

Facial recognition technology has evolved to become more accurate than it has ever been. It can measure more than 100 distinguishable differences of the face. The technology implemented at Aspira scans a large number of the person’s features, including:

· Depth of eye sockets,

· Jaw length,

· Nose width, and

· Distance between forehead and chin.

What Next?

Customer service excellence, operational effectiveness, risk management and continuous learning underpin the resilience and survival of any business, particularly in the current context. Aspira is constantly looking at deepening and enlarging the scope of its tools and processes to make this happen.

We’d love to read your feedback and launch discussions on how businesses and customers can harness Facial Recognition technology. You may reply/comment here or email us at: [email protected]