Cote D’Ivorian tech entrepreneur, Charlette N’Guessan, living in Accra Ghana, observed a remarkable challenge with identity verification in the country. Based on preliminary findings made by Charlette and her co-founder, banks in Ghana struggled with identity fraud, spending an estimated $400 million dollars annually to combat all shades and levels of identity and electronic financial fraud.
In 2018, Charlette and her team, built the BACE API, a piece of software that uses facial recognition and artificial intelligence to remotely verify people’s identities. The software, which can be integrated into existing apps and systems, is changing how financial institutions and businesses in Ghana tackle identity authentication. BACE API is tailored for Africa, giving it an edge over similar software brands.
Charlette’s tech innovation won her the prestigious 2020 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation from the Royal Academy of Engineering, making her the first woman ever to receive this award.
Business Elites Africa caught up with this astute entrepreneur in a discussion that covered the creation of the BACE API, women in entrepreneurship and what to expect from BACE Group in the future.
What inspired your pivot from launching a KYC app to building the BACE API?
The idea of creating a KYC app was to make it easier for people to access a variety of financial services through one app at a time and to process their e-KYC in a secure ecosystem. After building this prototype we had conversations with different banks based in the same market, they were excited about the idea of e-KYC but not so open to migrating their customers to a new app as the majority of banks have their own app. The idea of having other banks on the same platform was not a good value for some of them. Based on this feedbacks, we decided to create an API that easily integrates with any existing system. The BACE API is an extremely low-cost, highly scalable and secure digital identity verification that enables financial institutions and online service providers to remotely verify the identity of their customers using our robust liveness detection.
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