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Persona relaunches privacy and people-focused biometric ID verification


Online identity verification (IDV) startup Persona is relaunching to bring what the company describes as its privacy-centric, people-first approach to biometric online identity verification to a wide range of industries.

The company provides fully automated IDV with real-time identity document and selfie video facial recognition analysis, for instantaneous results with a simple and painless process, according to a company announcement. Persona covers 192 countries and supports 8 languages, and can be configured, themed, and branded to create custom-tailored flows for any use case.

Persona Founder Rick Song told Biometric Update in an email interview that the company boasts experience working on IDV, and came to feel that they could address an unmet need for companies by building in-house biometric technology.

“Persona’s proprietary biometric technology powers our selfie liveness check,” he explains. “We use video to capture a live selfie as the individual turns their face in multiple directions, and use this video to create a 3D reconstruction that predicts liveness. This is a powerful way to deter fraudsters who may be using images of other individuals.”

Song also points out that nearly all transactions have moved online, and each industry requires its own custom solution to accommodate its user base, regulatory requirements, appetite for risk, and type of verification needed.

“At Persona, we realized we needed to help these organizations put their customers first, by providing them with a unique, customizable, identity solution for their particular needs, while also providing the end user with a delightful and secure experience,” he explains. “The one-size-fits-all approach which treats people like numbers, transactions and User IDs – and which has been common in the IDV industry – just doesn’t work for most organizations today.”

Noting that the IDV market is forecast by McKinsey Global Institute to grow to $20 billion by 2022, Persona says in the announcement that its drop-in widget can be integrated in less than 10 lines of code, with Persona handling the complexities of secure collection, verification, and management of sensitive personal information so customers can focus on building their products.

UrbanSitter is using Persona to increase trust and security on the platform,” customer UrbanSitter’s Director of Member Services Brittney Miller explains to Biometric Update. “As trust and safety is of the utmost importance at UrbanSitter, we are leveraging Persona’s IDV technology to verify parent identities. Persona is easy to use for our team and our users. The product is seamless and is even configurable to UrbanSitter’s branding.”

Song also notes that data reselling seems not to be uncommon among identity verification providers, but Persona does not resell user data.

“We believe that any organization using biometrics technology should be aware of the privacy, security, and human considerations involved,” adds Song.

“While biometrics are an important and powerful type of verification, we also believe that the industry needs a more holistic approach. Deepfakes are becoming easier and easier to produce. Behavioral and environmental signals need to be paired closely with active verifications like biometrics to increase fidelity that an individual truly is who they say they are.”

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