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KYC with selfie video biometrics may be coming for Indian microlenders

Signzy signs up bank, First AML raises funds, IDnow supports new German age verification law
KYC with selfie video biometrics may be coming for Indian microlenders

Selfie biometrics, in photo or video form, to meet know your customer and other regulatory requirements continue to expand in use. Microlenders in India may be soon be able to use the same remote KYC process as banks, as a pair of banks have announced the launch of the service, one using Signzy technology. Meanwhile New Zealand-based startup First AML has raised more than $5 million in funding, and IDnow is prepared to help gambling websites authenticate German customers.

Non-bank financial institutions in India may soon be able to use facial biometric authentication through Aadhaar, as The Economic Times reports the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government are working on making the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI’s) database available to them.

Selfie video KYC using Aadhaar became available to banks at the beginning of the year, and microfinance association Sa-Dhan has pushed the government to invoke a Money Laundering Act clause to permit non-banks to carry out Aadhaar authentication. Complaints of misuse of the Aadhaar system have made the government hesitant to increase its availability however, according to the report.

One way of preventing abuses could be to run Aadhaar access through a third party like the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a source told the Times.

Uday Kumar Hebbar, managing director of CreditAccess Grameen told the Times that microfinance institutions had been forced to accept credentials that are more vulnerable to fraud for KYC processes since being barred from digital KYC.

Signzy signs up bank for biometric digital KYC

Banks continue to roll out the service, meanwhile. Bank of Baroda subsidiary BOB Financial Solutions Limited (BFSL) will utilize biometric video KYC through Signzy to enable fast, touch-free and paperless regulatory compliance.

Signzy says its machine learning-based digital KYC solution can be used to onboard 100,000 new credit card customers per month, with 98 percent faster processing than traditional KYC, for a near-instantaneous onboarding experience. The company says both customers and financial service providers are also protected with end-to-end security during the KYC process.

“We are excited to have partnered with BOB Financial to support their digital customer onboarding through our industry leading Video KYC solution,” comments Signzy Co-founder Arpit Ratan. “This partnership also benefits from the core of what Signzy had been building for the last five years and we are glad to also bring our years of implementation experience to this engagement. Our solution is designed to benefit both financial institutions and their customers by cutting down time and costs for onboarding new customers while simultaneously delivering much superior customer experience.”

HDFC Bank is launching a biometric video know your customer (KYC) service to allow prospective customers to apply quickly and securely to open an account online.

Customers will have to complete an Aadhaar OTP-based eKYC process in the bank’s application, have their PAN card on hand, perform the process while in India, and use a smartphone with good data connectivity, the bank advises. During the selfie video KYC process a bank official confirms the customer’s information, the customer’s facial image and PAN card are captured for document verification and face biometrics, and the interaction is validated, allowing the account to be opened.

First AML raises over $5M

First AML has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding, just ahead of its planned release of a new version of its platform with improved biometric identification for remote verification.

The funding round was led by Bedrock Capital, the firm’s first investment in the APAC region.

The regtech platform provided by First AML streamlines anti money-laundering compliance for financial service providers, law firms, real estate agencies and accountants through an ID document and biometric selfie check, according to the announcement. Automated end-to-end customer due diligence gives companies visibility and management of the process to minimize money laundering risk.

“Our plans to accelerate global market expansion and product development have just got a whole lot bigger,” states First AML Co-founder Milan Cooper. “Interest from customers in countries like Australia and the US is heating up as businesses look to prepare for the new regulatory requirements, and we are now well placed to capture these opportunities and offer the world’s best AML compliance platform thanks to our new investment partners at Bedrock. This is a $184 billion global market – there’s massive opportunity out there.”

IDnow applauds Germany’s transition to mandatory age verification for online gambling

Germany’s 16 states have approved a transition period for the legal framework underpinning new online gambling laws in the country, and IDnow has announced support for this step, which mandates age verification among other requirements.

The new laws take full effect in July of 2021.

IDnow currently offers an AML-compliant biometric video verification solution, as well as an automated verification solution, both of which fulfill the age verification requirements, according to the company announcement.

“IDnow strives to contribute to responsible corporate citizenship, ensuring that the social responsibility for this industry can be achieved effectively through innovative methods,” says IDnow Head of Regulatory Affairs Rayissa Armata. “This is the strong desire of the federal and state governments within Germany, and IDnow has been and – will continue to be – an active supporter of those efforts.”

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