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Mama Money simplifies FICA registration with a selfie

The service allows users to complete their registration online using the Mama Money app and then take a selfie.
The service allows users to complete their registration online using the Mama Money app and then take a selfie.

Local fintech start-up Mama Money has introduced an online process that allows users to complete their financial intelligence centre act (FICA) registration by taking a selfie.

Launched in 2015, the payment platform offers affordable cross-border money transfers in India and Africa covering SA, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, and other countries within the continent.

According to the company, the newly introduced service allows users to easily register online using the Mama Money app and then take a selfie holding either their ID or passport documents.

Previously, users had to register through an agent or at Pep stores prior to making any transactions, however the recent amendments to the FICA Act have made it possible for users to register online, allowing anyone to register independently in three easy steps, adds the company.

"Financial services in SA are very difficult to access for migrants who are earning money from informal jobs. We help them to send money back to their families easily and affordably," says Mama Money co-founder Raphael Grojnowski.

"Our new registration process eliminates requesting documentation that they don't have. It offers the option to self-register via the app. This is in addition to the current options to register in person at a PEP store, or with a Mama Money agent."

Last month, the minister of finance Malusi Gigaba amended the money laundering and terrorist financing control regulations and withdrew exemptions made in terms of the FIC Act 2001, effective 2 October 2017.

As soon as the relaxation to FICA Act rules came in, Mama Money says it was able to introduce a two-week testing phase - which has been successful.

The start-up says it has been licensed by the South African Reserve Bank as an authorised dealer with limited authority.

"To register, a user must download the Mama Money Family App from the Google Play store, enter their contact details, and take a photo of their passport or ID as well as a selfie of them holding the document. This is all that's needed to register to begin sending money home, with the whole process taking less than three minutes," says the company.

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