Open a bank account by scanning your face in Capitec’s new app

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Thanks to a complete app overhaul, Capitec bank has detailed how users can now sign up for bank accounts by taking a selfie. Similar to a feature FNB launched back in 2018, Capitec’s selfie feature aims to make the sign-up process more accessible. 

The facial biometrics feature built into Capitec’s newly launched mobile app harnesses the power of some artificial intelligence smarts, along with biometric fiddling to allow users the ability to verify their details. It’s linked to the Department of Home Affairs’ database in real-time (which is staggering if you consider the DOH is impenetrable after 3pm). The system uses a picture of you, sans face mask or glasses, to make sure you’re a real human with a South African identification number. 

Show Capitec those pearly whites

“While many traditional banks offer the ability to open an account with a  selfie, they mostly still require a branch visit to activate the account. Capitec’s gives clients an active account in minutes with a virtual card that they can use immediately without the need to visit a branch,” a recent press release details. 

Of course, removing the need for a branch visit is the perfect motivation during a global pandemic. Capitec’s service allows new users the ability to have an account up and running within minutes using the biometric features. 


Read more: Capitec launches its first virtual card in South Africa

To sweeten the deal even further, new account holders will immediately be issued a virtual card that does not have to be approved or activated. This virtual card can be used to buy whatever your heart desires online with immediate effect — you’ll be responsible to load it with money though.

“The virtual card is a new feature available to all clients that offer an additional layer of security for online shopping and online subscription services. The card’s details are stored securely on our app and are not linked to the client’s physical card. This means our clients will no longer have to enter their physical card details into online payment portals,” says Francois Viviers, executive of marketing and communications at Capitec.

Even though you won’t have to shlep to the bank to activate an account, you’ll have to mission at some point to pick up your physical debit card that’ll be issued as the account is opened. Capitec plans to roll out a delivery service for new card-holders later this year, however.

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