using identity verification to secure online marketplaces
using identity verification to secure online marketplaces

Using Identity Verification to secure Online Marketplaces: Our work with Bookings Africa


Unlike the past two decades, many Africans have shifted from clerical jobs to some forms of self-employment, and the gig economy appears to be a new booming market. These days, it is now gradually becoming a norm to combine a side hustle with a regular job. McKinsey estimates that 63 percent of Africa’s workforce is engaged in some form of self-employment. The gig economy is mainly seen as a disruptor in a well-established system. However, the stable ‘9 to 5’ lifestyle is far from reality for most people in the African continent, where these jobs are still only available to the few.

After the coronavirus pandemic, the gig economy in Africa has grown dramatically, serving as a stopgap for consumers when businesses have been shut down during — LOCKdowns and providing jobs for those excluded from formal and informal opportunities. There are already around 300 active digital platforms in Africa, employing nearly five million workers. These include the e-commerce company Jumia, founded in Nigeria and now operates in 14 countries in Africa.

With digital commerce estimated to benefit at least 80 million young Africans by 2030, the opportunities for gig workers will increase. This increase already comes with challenges, as 48% of employers in the gig industry reportedly faced identity fraud among freelancers. The problem is that anyone can create a fake account if there aren’t enough security measures. A bad actor can pose as an employee and cause chaos without repercussions in real life because he is under the guise of a false identity. They can also claim to have several desirable skills and be selected for a project far beyond their capabilities. The possibilities of scams are endless.

About Bookings Africa

Bookings Africa is a pan-African online marketplace that enables digital work physically and virtually. Bookings Africa facilitates seamless transactions between service providers, agencies, and consumers, from procurement to payment, in a secure, transparent, and cost-effective way for all users.

Bookings Africa’s mission is to make the gig space accessible, practical, and responsible. Since user safety is Bookings Africa’s top priority, it is essential to eliminate any attempted fraud. To prevent the prevalence of unusual activities on the platform, Booking Africa requests that talents verify their identities. Verification is triggered by Bookings Africa’s system that harnesses machine learning to detect false identities. Identitypass provides Bookings Africa with a fast and secure method to verify service providers and clients.

How Does Identitypass Come Into Play?

Making sure marketplaces are trustworthy starts with the onboarding process. Any person or business that signs up to participate in the sharing economy must be properly vetted. Bookings Africa, a well-designed marketplace, takes significant steps to know who they are dealing with or, in the case of a business, what business they are dealing with. This can have a bit of technicality as gig economy workers onboard as merchants sometimes don’t have a business registration number, making it challenging to verify them as a business entity.

While auditing may seem straightforward enough, the complexity of digitally verifying a person or business is a serious and complex issue, especially for a global audience doing business in today’s borderless economy. Numerous data points provide different analyses. Multiple data partners have additional data, access requirements, system protocols, data usage rules, information formats, and other variables. Obtaining secure access to one source is difficult enough, and, in today’s ultra-competitive environment, first impressions can make or break one. Identitypass enables Bookings Africa to improve its customer satisfaction through a verification process that is both quick and hassle-free

Get Started with Your Business’s Security

Identitypass verification solutions are tailored to the gig economy’s needs by being secure and low friction. With as little as a name, phone number, and other information, we take a multidimensional approach to verification. By confirming a user is who they claim to be, we can determine whether an issued identifier is linked to their identity. Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies, Identitypass has exponentially increased the barrier to fraud while keeping the process simple for users. Contact our team and let us take you through the process of implementing Identity verification for your business.

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