South Africa’s largest classifieds site Gumtree has partnered with credit information bureau XDS solutions (part of the EOH Information Services Group) to launch Profile Verification on their platform.
This innovation will allow both buyers and sellers to verify their SA ID number with XDS. Facial recognition software used during the process will ensure that stolen ID documents cannot be used.
Claire Cobbledick, GM of Gumtree South Africa, states that this is one of many steps the platform is taking to make the process of buying and selling online safer for all.
“Part of the appeal of social media and classifieds platforms has been a low barrier to entry – anyone with an email address can create an account and start trading. However, it is easy for unscrupulous criminals to take advantage of this and operate online. We believe that the future of classifieds lies in providing tools and mechanisms that still make it simple and easy to trade – but also safer.”
Profile Verification has initially rolled out to sellers but will soon become an optional extra for all Gumtree users.
“No data will be collected, stored or displayed on Gumtree,” says Cobbledick. “Verified users will receive a badge on their profile to indicate that they have verified their identity, adding an extra layer of trust to their online presence.”
The entire process can be completed in under two minutes. While it does not verify the goods or service level of the individual, it does eliminate ID fraud that often plagues social media and classifieds sites. “You can be assured that the person you can interacting with online is who they say they are.”
Cobbledick says the site will be rolling out additional features in 2022. In 2020, the site partnered with MFC, a division of Nedbank, to provide verification and finance for private vehicle sales.
“There are numerous innovations in the pipeline related to safety and entrepreneurship,” she states. “In these tough economic times, classifieds has a bigger role than ever to play and we’re committed to meeting the needs of our current and future customers.”