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Smile ID half-year 2023 state of KYC report highlights NIA strides with Ghanacard



Smile ID (formerly Smile Identity), Africa’s leading provider of identity verification solutions, released its H1 2023 State of KYC in Africa report today. The report, which proposes insights into the efficacy of biometric verification, the growing adoption of digital identity, and the impact of fraud rates across the continent, has highlighted the strides of Ghana’s National Identification Authority as a leading example on the continent.

Identification is regarded as a fundamental human right. Where unavailable, it can restrict access to amenities like financial services, healthcare, government services, etc. The NIA, which is the issuing body of Ghana’s foundational ID document, the Smart Card, has made significant progress in its bid to provide identification to citizens and residents. 

In April 2023, the NIA announced in an ID4Africa meeting in Nairobi that it had enrolled over 17.4 million Ghanaians above the age of 15. This puts the ID coverage north around 87percent of the country’s adult population. The NIA has also recently announced that it will be dropping age requirements for the Ghana Card, enabling it to enrol newborns.

The State of KYC in Africa report, which cuts across several African countries, also talks in-depth about the trends in ID-related fraud behaviours within the H1 2023 period. Across Africa, onboarding fraud attempts dropped from a record high of 28percent in 2022 to 23percent in the first half of 2023. The decline in fraud attempts has been largely attributed to a decline in marketing promotions which have been observed to trigger most fraud attempts.


The report, which is available to read on Smile ID’s website, also touches on the importance of biometric authentication, liveliness checks, and anti-spoof technologies, among others, for fraud prevention, especially as fraudsters evolve their methods. 

43percent of the fraud caught by the organisation were cases where the face of the user did not match the face on the ID they submitted, indicating that a stolen ID was used. In 41percent of the cases, the users attempted to spoof the ID owner’s face using a picture or a video. Relying on textual verification alone would have resulted in these fraudulent attempts going undetected. 

Other pertinent issues covered within the African KYC compliance ecosystem include:

  • The increase in gender inclusion across Africa, 
  • KYC compliance tips across 13 countries
  • Fraud trends across various industries, e.g. Payment, Crypto, BNPL, Remittance, etc.
  • How biometric verification reduces fraudulent users by up to 50percent, with facial recognition emerging as the preferred and most accessible option.
  • How several African countries are making notable strides in adopting digital identification.

The full State of KYC report is now available for download on Smile ID’s website. For questions and comments, please send an email to: [email protected]

About Smile ID: 


Smile ID (formerly Smile Identity) is Africa’s leading identity verification and digital Know Your Customer (KYC) provider, dedicated to enabling secure and seamless digital interactions for businesses and individuals across the continent. With cutting-edge technology and a robust database, Smile ID empowers organisations to comply with KYC regulations, mitigate risks, and build trust in the digital ecosystem. 

As a pioneer in identity verification solutions, Smile ID continues to drive Africa’s digital revolution, fostering financial inclusion and facilitating growth across diverse industries. For more information, please visit 

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