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KYC market steams into year-end with biometrics deals, funding and regulatory attention


identity document and smartphone

ID document-scanning and selfie biometrics implementations have been expanded by an Onfido customer and announced by Veriff, while Signzy has been honored for its digital KYC technology, document scanning company Microblink has raised $60 million, and eftpos has unveiled its strategy for digital identity brokering.

More KYC supply and demand coming

Peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace LocalBitcoins has leveled-up its partnership with Onfido to onboard users with its ID document and biometric selfie authentication.

Having met know your customer (KYC) checks, customers can make higher-volume trades with another photo of their ID and a selfie video for matching with facial recognition.

The partnership has so far enabled LocalBitcoins to reduce its customer onboarding time to an average of 16 minutes, and accept and verify documents from 189 countries.

“In the world of cryptocurrency, security is our number one concern,” says Elena Umanets, head of Investigations at LocalBitcoins, in the announcement. “LocalBitcoins is known in our market as the most secure marketplace out there. Onfido plays a big part in that, giving us confidence that our users are genuine at any stage in their journey with us.”

The U.S. Treasury Department, meanwhile, has proposed a new rule which would require all cryptocurrency owners in the U.S. making major transactions involving digital wallets to pass KYC checks, CoinDesk reports.

Transfers of more than $10,000 in a day to personal crypto wallets, or groups of transactions in a given reporting period, must be reported to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under the proposal, and transactions grater than $3,000 would require personal information to be submitted.

CoinDesk quotes multiple cryptocurrency advocates who criticize the measure for undercutting the ability of crypto to provide the anonymity of cash in the digital realm.

Public comments on the proposal will be accepted through January 4, 2021.

Veriff to provide biometric customer verification for Bolt

Bolt has selected Veriff to provide user identity verification with its ID document and selfie biometric technology, in cases where Bolt’s sophisticated anti-fraud engine detects unusual activity, according to a company announcement.

Passengers are occasionally required to verify themselves, and customers in Estonia, France, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal and Ukraine can now do so with Veriff’s biometrics, ahead of a planned global rollout.

The ride-hailing company recently announced it would invest some of a $182 million funding round on standing up a facial recognition-based driver verification capability to enhance its app’s safety.

“The new partnership with an innovative identity verification provider like Veriff supports our ambition to be the industry leader in safety and quality on our transportation platform,” states Bolt Co-founder Martin Villig.

Signzy honored at UAE financial inclusion hackathon

Signzy has taken second place in the Yalla Fintech 2020 – Innovation Challenge for Financial Inclusion in the United Arab Emirates for its biometric video KYC solution.

The company received the recognition in the ‘Electronic KYC for Simplified Customer On-boarding into the Financial System’ category.

“Our second place win in Yalla Fintech 2020 hackathon is testament to our team’s outstanding technology capabilities,” comments Signzy Co-founder Ankit Ratan. “Also, this win comes close on the heels of our inclusion in the prestigious Fintech100 Abu Dhabi, which not only marks a second-place growing recognition of Signzy’s vision and innovation, but also underlines Signzy’s strong commitment to the Middle-east market.”

The hackathon featured 72 teams from 40 countries, developing tools to expand financial inclusion for individuals and businesses in the Arab world.

Microblink raises $60M to accelerate growth of document scanning

Document-scanning provider Microblink has secured $60 million in funding to accelerate its growth through investments in product development, go-to-market and team expansion, according to a company announcement.

The investment round was led by Silversmith Capital Partners, and is the first for Microblink, which has been bootstrapped to profitability and rapid growth.

The company recently launched AI-powered SDK BlinkID to provide ID document scanning through web browsers. Microblink also provides automated data capturing.

Digital ID central to eftpos digital product strategy

Digital identity is at the core of the digital product strategy for the next two years announced by Australia’s eftpos. The strategy announcement is intended to provide clarity to members, fintechs in the country, and retailers about the opportunities available for innovation and collaboration.

In addition to being one of the five key elements identified in an announcement, digital ID also plays a major part in the mobile wallet and ecommerce elements of the strategy, and perhaps to a lesser extend in “APIs and Fintech access” and eftpos’ “National QR code payments rollout.”

A digital ID solution based on eftpos’ connectID identity brokering service to improve online access for Australians with disabilities was launched weeks ago by the public company.

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