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Equifax biometric cloud digital identity service joins online trust struggle

Ondato and Yoti sign deals, fake crypto accounts proliferating
Equifax biometric cloud digital identity service joins online trust struggle

Equifax is joining the digital-identity-as-a-service market with a new biometric offering, and has unveiled a partnership with Bonifii to carry out the first deployment of the service.

The new service provides data and analytics, along with cryptographic protections, which according to the announcement provides a high degree of trust with a smooth user experience. Consumers are given control over what data is shared, and organizations using the service receive protection against synthetic identity fraud and third-party account takeovers. User profiles are strengthened with differentiated data only Equifax can provide, according to the announcement.

The service’s functionality is provided by a suite of Equifax identity protection products, including its Digital Identity Trust, ID Document Verification and the Kount Identity Global Trust Network, acquired by Equifax at the beginning of 2021.

Bonifii will integrate Equifax’ Digital Identity as a Service with its MemberPass to enable trusted biometric onboarding of members by credit unions.

“The Equifax Cloud is helping our partners and customers address the evolving fraud landscape and deliver innovative solutions to today’s market challenges faster than ever before,” states Bryson Koehler, CTO of Equifax. “Businesses worldwide are challenged with detecting increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts, and the cloud enables secure and scalable real-time insights and decisions that simply aren’t possible in a non-cloud environment.”

Equifax SVP of Global Identity and Fraud Adam Gunther says it is a common misconception that financial institutions must chose between new customer acquisition and fraud risk mitigation, and that misconception is addressed by the Digital Identity as a Service offering.

Equifax added ID document and selfie biometric check technologies from HooYu to its database checks with a partnership in 2020, and also recently launched a cloud-based Digital Identity Suite for the multi-family property industry with document verification and selfie biometrics.

Ondato extends deal, Yoti-powered app customer win

A partnership between Latvia’s Luminor Bank and Ondato has been extended to biometric onboarding for business accounts to meet rising demand for digitization and remote account opening.

The Ondato solution performs remote customer verification with face biometrics and checks against customer data and documents in various databases and registers. The company the account is being opened for must be registered in Latvia, with signatories having access to authentication through a Smart-ID or similar Qualified Electronic Signature, according to Ondato’s announcement.

“Digitization is one of the main steps a financial institution can take to make itself more competitive and convenient for its clients,” explains Liudas Kanapienis, CEO and co-founder of Ondato. “While Know Your Business (KYB) procedures are often regarded as something forced on businesses due to regulations, this can also be an opportunity to make your day-to-day processes more effective. We’re happy to provide Luminor with modern tools that will increase the safety and quality of their remote procedures.”

The partnership was initially formed for personal accounts last year.

Yoti is providing digital identity verification for home-moving management service Monadd through its EasyID partnership with the UK Post Office to help both individuals and service providers reduce the time, cost and security risks associated with changing and transferring services during a move.

The average person or family has 16 accounts to manage when they move, according to the announcement. Monadd says it can save the average person £80 (US$110), plus 40 hours of labor in making these changes.

“We made Yoti and EasyID to help people tackle life admin and remove the unnecessary paper and fraud risks from everyday processes,” says Yoti CEO Robin Tombs. “According to Ofcom, 37 percent of consumers reported misdelivered mail last year, potentially leading to all sorts of security issues. Not only that, on average it takes 4.8 weeks to cancel a service provider, it’s clear to see why there’s a growing demand for services like Monadd’s. Moving house is stressful at the best of times, so we’re delighted to show how our identity services can help more people to make important changes with their sensitive personal data, easily and securely.”

Fake crypto accounts for sale

Stolen accounts previously verified with photo or video selfies used for biometric matching and the government-issued ID documents they are compared against are available online for as little as $150, Yahoo reports based on an extensive investigation by CoinDesk.

The accounts can be used to make fraudulent cryptocurrency transactions on exchanges like Coinbase Pro, Binance.US and Kraken.

One of the fake account providers told CoinDesk that their group is producing between 1,500 and 2,000 synthetic verified accounts per month. Some of the accounts found for sale online have been hijacked from legitimate customers, while some are synthetic or registered with stolen data.

Accounts can cost up to $500, and are typically paid with cryptocurrencies.

Services available also include verification by “drops,” who hire themselves out to pass processes like real-time video verification.

Cybercriminals are advertising their ability to provide “live selfies” and pass 3D face biometric checks.

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