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Gathr FAQs

Frequently asked questions about our service offering.

Sections

Select one of the topics below to view a specific section or scroll down the page to view all of our FAQs.

General FAQs

What is Gathr?
Gathr is a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) solution used for businesses to onboard, verify and assess the affordability of customers (individuals or businesses) at scale using API endpoints. In essence, it’s a tool used for digital document collection, verification and reading.
Does our service run 24/7?
Yes, the Gathr tool is always up and running.
Is Finch a SACCRA member?
No, we are not a SACCRA member. However, we are a registered credit bureau reseller.
What file types do our APIs Support?
For bank statements we only accept PDF bank statements that have been downloaded directly from the customer's bank account. You can view the table of accepted documents per bank here.
For ID verification, we accept: jpg, pdf, png. View the list of accepted ID documents here.
For Proof of Address, we only accept PDF documents. View the acceptance criteria for Proof of Address Documents here.
What is in the (personal) Summary Plus? And how do I make sense of it?
In the Consumer Affordability Module, the Summary Plus shows key metrics related to the transactions in the Customer's Bank Account. Included in this Summary Plus are details such as:
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The Customer's Main Income Transaction (you are given the description, amount and date for this Main Income Transaction).
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Averages: The average incomes and expenses and debt repayments per month
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Totals: The total incomes and expenses and debt repayments per month
How is my data protected?
All files (i.e. documents) and data (i.e personal information) relating to a customer are stored in Amazon S3 buckets. This does not allow for public access and it complies with stringent security and regulatory standards. We enforce strict access management policies to ensure that customer data can only be accessed by those with the appropriate authority.
Who has access to my data?
Only the lender, financial institution or organisation to whom you submitted your information will have view-only access to your data. You will need to have consented to this.
Does a credit check have an impact on my credit report?
No. The credit check conducted through Gathr is a soft check and will not reflect on your credit report or affect your credit score.
Do I get charged for downloading certain bank statements as a customer?
Yes. Depending on who you are banking with, you may get charged a small fee (usually just less than R2.00), which will be debited straight off your account in order for us to download your statement in the Online Banking process. If you choose manual upload to upload your bank statements, you will be charged the same fee when you are downloading your bank statements from the online banking website.
Are there purging policies in place for Gathr?
---- Need Dom to answer

Manual Upload

What types of documents do you accept for bank statements?
We only accept valid PDF bank statements that have been downloaded straight from the relevant bank's website or app. What does this mean? It means we do not accept scanned documents or photos of a document (even if it is a valid bank statement). The Optical Character Recognition (OCR) we have built is designed to read and interpret PDF documents of an expected format and layout for each specific bank. If, for example, you try to upload a scan of a bank statement, the slight variability in position/placement of the document on the scanner glass will throw off the X and Y co-ordinates of the columns and rows of data we are trying to read and hence it will not be processed.
Do you accept transaction history documents?
We only accept transaction history documents from ABSA at present. In the near future, we will start to accept Standard Bank transaction history documents.
Is there a reason why the solution only reads PDF and not JPEG or PNG files?
The downside to using an image (e.g. JPEG or PNG) is a reduction in the accuracy of the OCR (i.e. reading) of the elements on the document. In addition, the reading of images (such as scans or photos) introduces a higher possibility of fraud taking place. We would not be able to assess the metadata of these images to determine the likelihood of fraud for a given file, this is why we recommend using PDF bank statements instead.
When performing OCR – is the customer info extracted (i.e. customer name, address etc.) and can that be validated against input?
We return customer information, provided it can be found on the bank statement. This goes without saying, but we obviously can't return what is not there. You will find there may be some idiosyncrasies and anomalies that vary from bank to bank, or sometimes account to account level.
However, where it is available, we return the account holder's name and title, their address and their account number.
This information can be validated against the data that is stored for a customer when the customer was created in Gathr.
Do you return PDF metadata for statements that have come through the Online Login process?
Metadata is the backbone of the fraud object that gets returned in the PDF upload. It is important to note that the actual metadata is not exposed directly to the client, but can be checked against the fraud array.
There is no metadata stored on PDF statements from the online process. This is because we can safely deem, due to the nature of the solution, that these statements have been downloaded directly from the internet banking website. In addition to this; the need for the customer to authenticate the login (to their internet banking profile) in the Online Login process also provides a safeguard against fraud or unauthorised access.
For the summary return field “Debt repayments” – In test cases you might see this return as "0", so what is returned in this field?
Debt repayments refer to all debt/debt-like payments such as NAEDO, AEDO or DebiCheck transactions.
What types of clients do you serve?
We serve everyone from small businesses and lenders to large, multinational telecommunications companies and institutions such as banks and bureaus, as well as government contractors.
Are there plans to allow users to send upload information via alternate sources such as mailboxes, WhatsApp etc.?
We are in the process of rolling out a service that will allow your customers to send their bank statements through to a designated mailbox using their bank's USSD service on their mobile phone (if it exists).
Are there plans to do further analytics on the data (i.e. expenses categories, transaction types etc.)?
This is currently a work-in-progress. We are currently working on a project which will add further classifications/categorisation to transactions.
How do you mitigate against fraud?
We inspect the metadata from the document that is uploaded and return a Fraud Array in the upload response. This Fraud Array contains information about whether the metadata matches the expected metadata from our library of legitimate documents for each bank. In addition, if the document uploaded differs materially from the legitimate template for that specific bank, then the upload will not be processed in the first place (i.e. you will get an error telling you that you need to upload a valid PDF bank statement for the specific bank).

Online Login

Does your services cater for Non-South African clients that only have a passport number?
We do cater for passport users. We do not verify that the passport number input is as per a standard. I often test as a passport user because I can duplicate myself as a user.
Which banks do you support for Online Login
We support 8 major banks: ABSA, Capitec, Discovery, FNB, Nedbank, RMB, Standard Bank, Tyme Bank
Do I need to have access to my banking app/cellphone to use the Online Login function?
For some of the banks, a multi-factor login is required. You may either need to approve the login in your banking app or provide an OTP that gets sent by your bank to your primary device. This follows the same set of processes that would be followed if you were logging onto your online banking in a browser, it is similar to how you would need to authorise a payment or setting up a new debit order. The banks that you definitely need your linked cellphone for are Capitec (Token Password), Discovery (in-app approval), Standard Bank (OTP and you need to know you card details and PIN as well) and Tyme Bank (OTP). We recommend always having the cellphone that is linked to your online banking on-hand when completing the process.
Can you access my accounts for anything other than reading transactions and downloading statements?
No, once you authorise the login we have read-only access to your account. We specifically only scrape account transactions and download 3 months' transactions for the account(s) you select. Our scraper is designed for that purpose and nothing else. The process is confined to a limited amount of time, after which the scraper will time out if it hasn't yet performed it's function.
Must I have an online banking profile for this feature to work?
Yes. You need to have an active online banking profile with your bank in order to use the Online Login process. You will need to enter your username/account number and password to being the process. Any multi-factor authentication that you have set up for your online banking will also need to be completed successfully to allow us to scrape the transactions and download the statements for your accounts. This is why we recommend always having your cellphone that has your banking app and/or receives your banking OTP's on-hand when engaging with our Online Login process. This is akin to any other payment gateway or similar process, where you have to approve the action we are conducting on your behalf.
Is there another way I can provide my statements if I do not want to use the Online Login process?
Yes, you can make use of the Manual Upload process to upload your 3 most recent bank statements (which you would need to have downloaded from your Online Banking/banking app). If you are a Capitec customer, you will soon be able to email your bank statements directly to us via USSD.
Is my data secure?
Yes, we have read-only access to the transactions and statements in your account. In addition, we are only able to access the accounts you explicitly select in the Online Login process. Say for example you have 2 accounts in your online banking profile: one is your current account that you use for day-to-day expenses and the other is a savings account that you stash all your savings away in. If you do not want us to see the trasnactions/statements for the treasure trove that is your savings that you're sitting on, then you simply don't select it and we won't have access to it.
The above said, what most lenders and financial institutions will be looking to see is your main salary amount or something to that effect as a proof of income so they can determine whether or not you can afford their products. Therefore it is important that you select the account that your main salary gets paid into.
Will anyone be able to see my password/login details?
No, no human will be able to view your online login credentials (including your username/account number and password) at any point in time. All such details get encrypted at rest and in-transit and nobody has the right to view it at any time without your explicit consent.
How does the repeat login work?
Repeat login allows our partners to collect transactions and statements without the customers having to provde their login credentials again. We use the encrypted details that we have stored for that customer and attempt a login session without the need to ask them to re-enter thier details. If the person has changed any of their login credentials since the last successful login session, then the process will fail and the customer will be told that we can't login with the provided details. At which point, the partner making use of the Online Login process should prompt the customer to enter their login credentials and password (i.e. begin from scratch). This is a feature that needs to be enabled on a per-tenant basis and by default it is switched off. Additionally, those banks which require multi-factor authentication will not be able to repeat the login automatically as they require user input.
Shorter version: This allows our clients to retrieve bank statements and transactions without the user having to form part of the journey. This process can only happen once the user has already completed an online login session and granted permission for future online login sessions. However it reduces the reliance of the user and allows for a completely automated and seamless journey in retrieving transactional data.
How does the repeat login store my bank details or login credentials?
Through an encryted token: This process can only happen once the user has already completed an online login session and granted permission for future online login sessions. However it reduces the reliance of the user and allows for a completely automated and seamless journey in retrieving transactional data.
It says there's an error connecting to my bank. What could be wrong?
In this case, one of three things has gone wrong. Either the online banking website or one of the subpages of the website is temporarily down or under maintence and as a result, we cannot conduct the actions we need to complete the process OR a change has been made to the online banking website that GathrLink has not yet been updated to cater for OR their an issue connecting to the bank's or Gathr's servers due to a network issue affecting your mobile or wifi connection.

ID Verification

Which documents are accepted for ID verification?
Green ID Books, Smart ID cards, Drivers License Cards
What documents format types are accepted for ID verification? eg. (PDF, PNG, JPG)
We accept PDF, JPG, JPEG
What is the success rate of ID verification? Can the success rate be manually adjusted depending on use?
The success rate is set at a default of 80%, the percentage can be adjusted to a lower percentage but this is not recommended due to verification accuracy, The clearer the document that has been uploaded is the better the chance of it being verified and avoiding manual verification.
What details does the customer need to provide before uploading their ID document
The customer needs to provide the details that is presented on the ID document so we can verify that against the documents as well.
How will my ID documents be stored after I upload them?
Your ID documents are stored and deleted after some time as per our purging policies which are in line with POPI.
What gets returned in the Customer ID Verification endpoint?
We will return the person's ID number and full name from what is on record (based on the ID number lookup) at home affairs. A check is also done to see the gender of the individual based on their ID number.

Proof of Address

What document formats do we accept for proof of address?
PDF only
What types of documents do we accept/read for proof of address?
Any PDF document that contains the person's address on it. We OCR the document lines based on the input from the user (i.e. if the user enters ABC as their address line 1, the OCR tool will look for "ABC" on the PDF document and return the address line 1 with the text containing "ABC").
What qualifies as a proof of address document for finance applications? Who decides which documents qualify?
It is up to the individual financial service provider to determmine which documents are suitable or qualify as a valid proof of address. They will tell the customer what type of document they need to upload and determine their acceptance criteria accordingly.
Are there any verified documents that can be checked for proof of address?
At present we do not use any sort of templates/library of documents that we check documents against. However, we are able to return what we see in a person's bank statement if you use the manual upload endpoint within the affordablility module. You will be able to see their address which we look for in a certain place on the relevant bank statements and return in the Return All Accounts of a BankAccount and Return a Single Account endpoints.
Are we ever going to have verified types of documents that will be used in our proof of address solution? What do you mean by verified? [change wording].
We are in the process of building out a library of documents that can be used without the need to tell the OCR what specifically to look for in the address document because the OCR tool will know that for that specific document the address can be found at a certain x and co-ordinate and it will spit out the address it finds accordingly. This is one step closer to automating the proof of address reading and verification process. Examples of these documents are City of Cape Town/City of Johannesburg Municipal/Utility Bill, DSTv statement, PDF Bank Statements for each bank, etc.

Bank Account Verification

What information does a customer need to provide for the Bank Account Verification service?
You will need to provide the following: Provided when creating the customer... ID number, First name, Middle name (if applicable) and Last name
Needs to be provided on the Create Account Verification endpoint... Bank Account Holder name, Branch code Account number, Account type (e.g. savings, cheque, credit card, etc.)
How do I know what my account number is?
This is the customer's bank account number that you want to verify. Customers can find this either on their bank statement or in their onliine banking profile. Please ensure you are collecting/providing the correct account number for the specific account you want to verify. Most banks also provide a proof of account service through their online banking website or banking app where you can find all of this information.
How do I know what my branch code is?
Your branch code can be found on your PDF bank statement. Most banks also provide a proof of account service through their online banking website or banking app where you can find all of this information.
What is my Account Holder name?
This is the name of the person that the bank account is registered to. The customer should enter it as it appears on their bank statement for that specific account or as it stands on their online banking profile at the time of registering that account. The title that is prefixed to the account holder's name will also be checked against the gender that is deduced from the person's ID number.

Business Affordability

What is the difference between enterprise number and reg number
Registration number and enterprise number are mandatory fields when creating a business ID, but there are certain cases where a business might not have both (eg Sole Prop??) . How do you cater for this in the build
What is the unique attribute when a business is created?
What is PATCH Update single bank account details used for?
Is the categorisation configurable?
Yes it is, but it is also limited.
Are you using an ML model or it's a rule based service?
Rule Based
Our requirement is to assign labels to transactions dynamically. For instance we would like to label a transaction an Expense as the main category then Petrol as a subcategory. Or it could be Income then Sales as a subcategory.
We cannot categorise to this level of detail yet. We can do Income, Expenses, Transfers
What is included in the business SummaryPlus and how do I use it?
How many months of transactions/ bank statements do you collect for business bank accounts?
For business bank statements, we are able to store bank statements as far back as the user has uploaded. Check validity (too old) rule on upload.
Is there online banking or API integrations for any of the banks in the business affordability solution?