Identity verification processes can sometimes be lengthy, complex, and inconvenient for users. YouVerify—a Nigerian startup—which recently launched in Kenya, plans to address the issues as it works with local banks, telcos, and fintechs.

Digital verification continues to grow across different markets globally. Multiple startups have since seen a niche in verification exercises, including Nigeria’s YouVerify, which has set up shop in Kenya in an event held in Nairobi yesterday. According to YouVerify,  the company relies on its technologies to go beyond know-your-customer processes—unlike similar companies that scan documents for verification.

Going beyond KYC means YouVerify has supplemented its service offerings with other products, such as know-your-business, know-your-transaction, know-your-employee, risk intelligence, and media screening.

YouVerify says it is expanding its product’s reach, meaning it will likely launch in more countries in the nearest future. According to the company’s chief executive, Dimitri Kanellopolos, the startup’s goal is to help organisations navigate the hurdles of regulatory requirements. In Kenya’s case, companies that process or control data must be registered with the data commissioner’s office. Such companies include fintechs, which must comply with Kenya’s central bank requirements.

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Why Kenya?

YouVerify is expanding to Kenya to help businesses comply with regulations. It believes providing businesses with the necessary tools and expertise can help create a more trustworthy, transparent, and sustainable economy in Kenya.

Gbenga Odegbami, YouVerify CEO and co-founder, stated that the company’s decision to expand its products and solutions to Kenya was a strategic move. After analysing the compliance landscape in Kenya, YouVerify identified the market’s potential for its technology.

Expanding their product offerings to Kenya aligns with Youverify’s global vision to drive financial innovation. By introducing its technology and expertise to the Kenyan market, the company aims to transform businesses’ approach towards compliance.

“Expanding our product offerings to Kenya aligns perfectly with our vision to drive financial innovation on a global scale. As we bring our cutting-edge technology and expertise to the Kenyan market, we aim to revolutionise the way businesses approach compliance,” said Odegbami.

Kanellopolos added that the company is  “excited to extend our products and services to Kenya. For long, we have had our sight on the country’s rapidly evolving financial sector and commitment to regulatory reform. 

This creates the perfect ecosystem for regtech service providers like ours to thrive and empower Kenyan businesses to satisfy regulatory requirements efficiently and scale confidently.”

Locally, YouVerify may focus on telcos, banks, and lenders to offer verification services. It already works with e-taxi firm Bolt and Wema Bank.

Market challenges

Kenya has been closing loopholes in the regulatory space with new laws, especially in data protection. How YouVerify will navigate complex and evolving regulatory frameworks remains to be seen. Compliance with regional, industry-specific, and data privacy regulations poses ongoing challenges, requiring companies to stay up to date with changes and adapt their processes accordingly.

While Youverify seldom shares information about fraud activities like its rival Smile Identity, it should be noted that fraudsters are constantly adapting and finding new ways to deceive identity verification systems. Companies must stay ahead of emerging fraud techniques and continuously update their algorithms and technologies to detect and prevent these fraudulent activities.

Kenn Abuya Senior Reporter

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