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An Analysis of ID Proxy Initiatives Across the Globe

– Cenfri

This report from BankservAfrica and Cenfri analyses the different approaches being used to provide proxy ID for instant payment systems in Africa and beyond

This report analyses the effectiveness of proxy services, which allow instant payments through an agreed identifier, such as a mobile number or national identity number.

By looking at different proxy ID systems across the globe, the authors present their key findings for South Africa - which is working to create a digitally-connected economy that will provide financial inclusion.

The central criteria that proxy services need to meet include accessibility and inclusion, privacy, user-friendliness, security, and verifiability.

Other considerations which need to be taken into account include the cost for infrastructure and installation, how to achieve buy-in from merchants and customers, as well as ensuring optimal outcomes within local contexts.

In the case of South Africa, the authors summarize that:

“The effective implementation of such an initiative will be conditional on a number of preconditions and recommendations to ensure optimal outcomes.”

The report concludes that, as no single proxy fits all feasibility criteria, it may be necessary to implement a combination of ID proxies at the same time - in order to implement a seamless real-time payment system.

It is clear that proxy services need to meet accessibility verifiability and security, trustworthiness, uniqueness, privacy, customer experience and cost needs but there is often a trade-off between accessibility and financial inclusion, on the one hand, and security and verifiability on the other hand

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