South Africa's Capitec Bank has announced that it will partner with the country's Department of Home Affairs on a combined biometric database to combat identity fraud on the same day that another South African bank launched a biometric banking app.Capitec has said that a link with the DHA's database will “make it much harder for criminals to commit fraud against Capitec Bank customers”. It has been capturing customers' fingerprint details since it was established in 2001, with these stored in its own database for banking transactions.”By partnering with home affairs we are now making it virtually impossible for identity thieves to target our customers,” said Carl Fischer, executive of marketing and corporate affairs at Capitec Bank.The bank was an early innovator in terms of using biometrics for customer's mobile logins, launching a Touch ID compatible app last June.Meanwhile, Standard bank said on Thursday that it had launched South Africa's first Biometric mobile banking solution for clients.According to Standard Bank, the feature is designed to make banking easier and safer for customers. “Our customers' security is of the utmost importance to us,” says Standard Bank mobile banking head Magnus Taljaard. “The new biometric identification feature therefore underwent rigorous testing so that we could ensure a safe and robust solution for our customers. The ability to sign in using the fingerprint sensor is also combined with an additional security layer for certain transactions, for example when paying a new beneficiary.”ID theft in South Africa can result in a significant windfall for criminals who are unlikely to be caught.”[Identity theft] affects both the living and the deceased [in South Africa]”, Independent Identity Verification expert Dawid Jacobs told Fin24. “ID theft is the fastest growing crime in the world today. It is estimated to generate half a trillion US dollars. Javelin Research claims that every 79 seconds somebody has their identity stolen. ID theft leads to more serious crimes, including money laundering, human trafficking and terrorism.”US banks began allowing Apple's Touch ID for login late last year, while two UK banks unveiled similar apps in February.