Johannesburg-based fintech company Bitventure, a provider of state-of-the-art real-time automated verification and payment solutions, has acquired industry-leading smart payment provider EasyDebit.
The acquisition is a move set to bolster the company’s efforts to protect businesses against fraud while facilitating payment collections to increase cashflow and optimise onboarding processes. Bitventure CEO Junior Biola points out that fraud has become a growing concern in the post-pandemic world. “With online commerce growing significantly, cybercrime and fraud has become a real challenge for many companies. Consider, for example, that according to the 2022 PWC Global Economic Crime and Fraud survey, 46% of companies interviewed have experienced some form of fraud or other economic crime within the past two years,” he says.
The problem isn’t limited to organisations. In fact, South Africa’s Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) has found that the incidence of impersonation fraud has grown by 337% in 2020. Bitventure’s identity, biometric and bank account verification services help clients to reduce their onboarding risk and increase revenue by identifying fraudsters before they become customers. Through its acquisition of EasyDebit, Bitventure is able to provide clients with full credit lifecycle solutions, from onboarding to payment collections.
Revenue collection is gaining increased attention for the same reason, Biola adds, noting that EasyDebit’s suite of products targets these issues directly. With services like DebiCheck and Strike Date Optimisation, the company has established itself as a leader in its field, assisting clients to improve their collection success rates. Now, with the acquisition of EasyDebit, both companies are poised to enhance their offerings. The move makes sense as there is a natural affinity between EasyDebit and Bitventure.EasyDebit’s DebiCheck system is used to electronically authenticate a debit order by customers on a once-off basis, reducing the number of debit orders being disputed and thereby increasing revenue.
Another offering, Strike Date Optimisation is a once-off process that, through customer information intelligence, identifies the best dates to enact a debit. This allows companies to debit their customers when funds are most likely to be available, thus reducing the risk of failed debits and increasing the success rates of collections. The costs associated with tracking and resubmitting debits is also reduced. These offerings are now supported by Bitventure’s verification services. Bank account verification services operate in real time, matching a potential customer’s provided bank account details with those stored in their bank’s database. Again, this makes it possible to take a proactive stance against fraud, at the same time reducing the risk of non-payment and enhancing the integrity of stored data. Identity verification, meanwhile, makes it possible to verify customers’ identity, again in real time, using nothing more than an ID number to plug into the database of the Department of Home Affairs along with biometric verification that makes it possible to match a fingerprint to an ID number and retrieve the associated ID photo and personal information. This is an effective way to protect companies against fraud, while allowing them to vet new customers quickly. These services are offered through API integration into existing client IT infrastructure or through an online portal.
Biola explains that the relationship between the two companies spans eight years, creating a firm mutual understanding of each other’s businesses. The acquisition creates the opportunity for growth, allowing for vertical channel optimisation, with the marriage of two best-of-breed companies allowing for an increased scope of services and expertise based on their joint product sets. “We are very pleased to be able to offer our customers enhanced services that will make it easier for companies to collect funds and protect themselves against fraud, ultimately allowing them to operate at their peak,” Biola concludes.