There is good news in the offing for business owners who have experienced difficulties in changing their company details with the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) in recent months following the deactivation of the electronic CM29 application.
"Excellent progress has been made with an easy, fraud-proof service that will not necessitate a visit to our offices," says Keith Sendwe, Cipro's CEO. "The user-friendly Customer Authentication process will enable businesses to make painless changes to their company profile. This will include changing CM29, CM27A, CM22 and CM31 forms."
Cipro has selected a "testing panel" consisting of customers who will test the Customer Authentication process. The roll-out of the proof-of-concept of this system will commence on 1 July 2009.
"In February this year Cipro had to deactivate its electronic CM29 application as it was no longer tamper proof. The problem with that system was that it was no longer secure for our customers to conduct business as its security was compromised," explains Sendwe.
"Since the deactivation of the old system, our customers had to effect all changes to company information manually. This was understandably inconvenient as it was both labour intensive and slow. The new system will be highly beneficial for all business owners and action may be taken against perpetrators who attempt to manipulate the system."
It has become imperative for Cipro to safeguard the information on its database while ensuring that the system remains efficient, user-friendly and fraud-proof. According to Sendwe, the Customer Authentication process will provide a security layer to Cipro's database and will enable Cipro to forensically track all transactions to a specific customer, thereby ensuring full accountability for each and every transaction.
To be able to make use of this new initiative, customers will need to pre-register on Cipro's database. The customer's data will be captured and then submitted via secure web services to the service provider who will facilitate the Customer's Authentication by a commissioner of oaths (COO). Instructions will be posted on the website as to how customers are to follow the Customer Authentication process.
After pre-registering, the customer's identity will have to be authenticated by a COO, who will also capture finger-vein biometric data. For authentication purposes, the customer will need to provide the COO with proof of residence, not older than three months, and his or her identity document. Upon receipt of this biometric data, the information will be processed, validated and captured on the database. After successful data capturing, a user card will be issued to the customer. This card must be activated it in order to gain electronic access.
Should customers wish to make changes to a company profile, they would simply log on to the Cipro site using their customer code and password. If they select the electronic company lodgements, they will be required to provide their authentication information (card number/identity number and PIN). This information will then be validated by the service provider who will SMS a password to their cell phone. This password, which will be valid for a day, will provide access to the electronic lodgement facility where after company forms may be lodged electronically.
This new method will go a long way in assisting Cipro to eliminate fraud, says Sendwe.
"The process should be an easy and non-cumbersome process, which should not take up much time to complete."