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NZ selfie biometrics startup funding, re-usable digital ID launch to growing IDV market

NZ selfie biometrics startup funding, re-usable digital ID launch to growing IDV market

Biometric onboarding and identity verification providers continue to draw funding and bring new products to market, as with APLYiD in the former case and HooYu as the latest examples. A customer win has been announced by Onfido and a partnership by iDenfy, both in touching the cryptocurrency space, along with another partnership formed by Equifax.

ID document and selfie biometrics verification startup APLYiD has picked up NZ$7 million (US$5 million) in investment, and plans to allocate the funds to supporting its strategic growth plans, which include entry into the Australian, UK and Asian markets, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The investment in the New Zealand-based firm comes from the UK’s Octopus Ventures, which takes a 25 percent stake in the company. APLYiD has also opened a UK office.

Users perform facial authentication with APLYiD by capturing an eight-second video while slowly moving their smartphone, and can also include checks against fraud and watchlist databases to help customers meet know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) obligations.

Its customers so far include accounting firm BDO and several law firms, as well as Ricoh, Western Union, and a large car rental company.

APLYiD Co-founder Russell Smith says many organizations are struggling to meet their compliance requirements, particularly SMEs.

HooYu re-usable digital ID service launches with biometric security

HooYu has unveiled its re-usable digital ID service to allow consumers to assert their digital ID safely and securely for both online and in-person transactions.

The new HooYu ID service stores verified credentials in the user’s smartphone, with validated identity evidence encrypted and protected by selfie biometrics and a PIN code. HooYu does not have access to the cryptographically-protected identity details, but issues an identity report and certified evidence when the user grants permission with the HooYu digital identity wallet app.

“Some of our clients asked us about building a digital identity for their users to port between their portfolio brands, for example, large banking groups or multi-brand online gambling operators.  Other clients such as mortgage lenders or law firms want us to join the dots for house buying and selling journeys where the user is asked to prove their identity to four different parties as part of one transaction,” says HooYu Marketing Director David Pope.

“The last twelve months have proved formative as government, industry and identity providers have coalesced around a set of standards in interoperable re-usable digital identity and we welcome identity providers such as HooYu as members of OIX, as together we help make digital identity a reality,” comments Open Identity Exchange CEO Nick Mothershaw.

HooYu has also released a report on the ‘State of Identity,’ which showed 89 percent of consumers find the idea of a re-usable digital identity service appealing.

Onfido and iDenfy announce crypto market moves

Cryptocurrency-focussed financial institution Simplex has automated 70 percent of its customer verifications using Onfido biometrics, according to a company announcement.

Simplex provides ‘fiat-to-crypto infrastructure,’ and was acquired by global payment technology provider Nuvei in September.

The company integrated Onfido’s document authenticity, selfie biometric and checks against politically-exposed-persons (PEP), sanctions watchlist and credit databases, and is reporting that it now approves 76 percent of customers on their first application.

“We care a lot about risk, from both a product and cultural perspective. It’s why we offer a 100 percent chargeback guarantee for customers,” says Erez Ben Ezra, VP Global Expansion at Simplex, a Nuvei company. “Onfido gives us confidence in the customers we onboard, doing so in a way that enables us to capture an omnichannel audience without burdening our manual teams at scale.”

The Pure M Global group of companies, which provide forex, cryptocurrency and investment services, have selected iDenfy’s selfie biometrics to meet their KYC and AML needs.

The companies say the biometric onboarding partnership delivers faster, safe and reliable identity verification for Pure M Global clients.

“We look forward to working with Pure M Global that is maintaining high internal and external compliance standards, regardless of any outside regulators. Taking an extra step for safety and security is something we share,” says iDenfy CEO Domantas Ciulde.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), meanwhile, has called for government regulators to increase their identity verification and suspicious transaction reporting requirements for cryptocurrency firms, The Wall Street Journal reports.

FATF is a global body that advises regulators on AML and counter-terrorism financing rules.

The updated guidance advises closer scrutiny of decentralized finance (DeFi) and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Many crypto industry stakeholders criticized the guidance as detrimental to privacy or innovation, or as practically unworkable, according to the Journal.

authID.ai pitches selfie biometrics, Equifax partners on data checks

authID.ai is now offering a free 14-day trial of its Verified biometric authentication solution with every online signup as the company challenges online businesses to replace vulnerable one-time passcodes over SMS with face biometrics.

On the data check side, Equifax will provide its multi factor authentication (MFA) and digital identity trust technologies to DataVisor, which is integrating the capabilities into its fraud protection platform. Equifax analysis says layering its technologies can reduce fraud risk by 90 percent and operational overhead by 30 percent.

DataVisor’s fraud detection technology prominently features the company’s artificial intelligence-based behavioral analytics.

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