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Stakeholders split on digital ID benefits as selfie biometrics deployed for financial crime prevention

Stakeholders split on digital ID benefits as selfie biometrics deployed for financial crime prevention

Most stakeholders see digital ID as a potentially helpful innovation for fighting financial crime, but they are split on whether legal barriers stand in the way of its widespread use. This is according to a new survey released in the midst of a flurry of biometric digital ID adoption announcements, including by 1Kosmos, iDenfy, Vouched and Accura Scan.

The potential for digital ID to address financial crime and regulatory compliance challenges is explored in the survey from independent security think tank RUSI and anti-financial crime industry membership body ACAMS.

Nearly 85 percent said customer onboarding would be the process most helped by digital ID, but with significant differences between jurisdictions where digital identity tools are already used and where they are not. Where it is currently available, less than half believe it will make onboarding less expensive and more effective, while those elsewhere were more optimistic.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said digital ID could help cut down on labor intensive manual verification checks, while 71 percent said it could help reduce the use of forged documents, compared to two-thirds identifying reduced friction and costs as a benefit.

The survey did not refer explicitly to biometrics.

“These results show that digital ID certainly has an important role to play in the fight against financial crime,” comments Isabella Chase, research fellow at the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI. “Although more cautious than we were expecting it appears the financial crime compliance community are ready to adopt this tool once regulatory hurdles have been overcome. In the long run this will likely lead to the much more sustainable use of digital IDs.”

SmartSearch CEO John Dobson, meanwhile, points out in a post examining the post-Brexit AML regime in the UK for International Banker, combinations of face biometrics and data verification can deliver 95 percent pass rates when onboarding new clients to financial services.

But what happens to the other five percent?

Some people in Colorado using ID.me to verify their identities for unemployment claims have been waiting for 6 hours, and even up to 10, to talk to a trusted referee in a video chat if they do not pass the initial verification check, reports CBS Denver.

ID.me CEO Blake Hall told the TV station that Colorado wait times will be restored to normal, just as they were in Arizona and California, possibly to 30 minutes in the morning and two hours in the evening within two weeks. He also said 25 states have signed with ID.me in the past six months.

The situation has been complicated, according to Hall, by criminal attacks from Russia and other countries.

1Kosmos provides biometrics to IAM provider

1Kosmos’ blockchain and biometrics solution BlockID Verify has been selected by Canadian Identity and Access Management (IAM) one-stop-shop TechJutsu to streamline customer identity verification and reduce risks during the onboarding and checkout processes.

TechJutsu will provide its financial industry customers with face biometrics over video conferencing through BlockID Verify, to support identity assurance level 3 (IAL3) checks compliant with W3C guidelines and GDPR regulation when performing know you customer (KYC) processes.

“As the leading Identity and Access Management systems integrator, TechJutsu is the perfect partner for 1Kosmos with its deep expertise in Canadian financial services,” says 1Kosmos Director of Business Development Michael Granat. “We look forward to expanding our relationship and offerings to ensure security for both of our customers.”

iDenfy selected by tokenization firm

iDenfy has been chosen by Emirex, which provides tokenization and blockchain advisory services in the MENA region, for identity verification with selfie biometrics.

Emirex chose iDenfy to meet its KYC compliance requirements and protect its services from fraud, according to the announcement. Users can complete identity verification processes for onboarding remotely within a few minutes, the companies say.

“We are so proud to partner with Emirex and provide consumers with more peace of mind as they engage in daily transactions online,” states iDenfy CEO Domantas Ciulde. “Our mission since the inception of iDenfy has always been making the digital world a safer place. With fraudulent activity running rampant, it is now more important than ever to make security a priority.”

Vouched to secure NFT authenticity with biometrics

With the rise of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in the fine art world, Vouched has partnered with Verisart to combine the former’s biometric digital identity verification technology with the latter’s blockchain certification program for digital artists and collectors.

Vouched facial recognition tools will allow artists to create secure certificates of authenticity for their NFTs on Verisart.

“The rise of NFTs demonstrates that virtually everything in our known history can be adapted to a digital future, from healthcare to banking to real estate, and now fine art,” says John Baird, co-founder and CEO of Vouched. “Identity verification is absolutely foundational to every element of this ongoing digital revolution. We are excited to work with Verisart to bring Vouched’s unmatched AI technology to the world of NFT art, helping to unleash creativity for artists and enable more confident investing for collectors.”

Oney Bank selects Accura Scan for digital KYC and identity verification

Accura Scan has won a contract with Oney Bank to integrate its digital KYC and biometric identity verification services for simplified user onboarding.

The partnership is intended to make KYC compliance easy for Oney Bank, while increasing operational speed and accuracy, and making documentation error-proof with the optical character recognition (OCR) technology of Accura Scan’s SDK.

Customers onboarding to Oney Bank can use Accura Scan’s 2D face biometrics and 3D liveness checks through a video selfie, along with scans of ID documents like passports for real-time authentication and protection against identity theft, according to the announcement.

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