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Onfido awarded £5 million grant to develop biometric KYB solution for SMEs

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Onfido has won a £5 million (US$6.6 million) grant to invest in the development of biometric fraud detection, data anonymization and document fraud prevention technologies for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The grant was awarded by the Board of Banking Competition Remedies Ltd. (BCR) from its Capability and Innovation Fund Pool, which was established as an independent body for implementing the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) State Aid Alternative Remedies Package, part of the government’s bailout measures for the troubled institution. Nearly 100 organizations applied for grants, and six are receiving shares of the awards totaling £20 million ($26.4 million).

Portable identity technology will also be developed to integrate the enabling technologies supported by the grants, and provide SMEs with a novel service to help them handle know your business (KYB) processes.

“At Onfido, we’re transforming the accessibility of financial products and services for SMEs,” Onfido CEO and Co-founder Husayn Kassai says. “We pride ourselves on leading discovery and innovation on artificial intelligence technologies applied to identity verification and are honoured to receive the grant to further invest in the technologies that are creating a more open and inclusive online world. We view this as a critical issue as we enter a more digitised world where an individual’s identity is the key to access.”

Access to financial services and products can be difficult for SMEs, according to the announcement, due to complexity, cost, and administrative requirements related to KYB checks. Onfido says it is committed to delivering a cost-effective solution to simplify KYB processes and make them efficient, secure and reliable.

Capability and Innovation Fund workstream Lead Director Aidene Walsh said all successful applicants demonstrated a clear vision for how to deliver on their proposals by December 2022.

Onfido signed up its latest KYC customer, cryptocurrency management platform SwissBorg, earlier this month. Sumsub just launched a KYC and KYB video streaming service for small businesses in the DACH region, Estonia and Lichtenstein.

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