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VeriFast raises $3.5M amid digital financial services growth

IDnow survey shows market momentum
VeriFast raises $3.5M amid digital financial services growth

Digital processes are increasingly relevant to banking consumers of all ages, according to a new report.

ID verification vendor IDnow, which paid for the report, says that while Covid accelerated the need for greater remote access when travel restrictions were common, the growth trend continues.

“This research illustrates how important digital processes continue to be for consumers,” comments Mike Kiely, sales director for financial services from IDnow.

More specifically, 64 percent of Britons surveyed for the report believe digital ID processes like remote account opening, online banking options or a friction-reduced app were important when picking a bank.

The report also showed that 47 percent of the 2,001 UK adult respondents were most annoyed by the time constraints involved with banking, including limited hours at local branches (22 percent), lengthy processes (16 percent) and having to visit a branch to open an account (9 percent).

At the same time, only a quarter (24 percent) of respondents across the UK had accounts with a challenger bank (32 percent in London).

“It’s interesting to see that the majority of respondents still bank with a traditional bank,” Kiely says.

“The demand for more digital processes remains high, though, which presents a huge opportunity for those institutions equipped and prepared to embrace technologies that will enable them to provide the online services that many have come to expect.”

Sixty-three percent of respondents between 18 and 24 years old and 35 to 44 said they had opened a bank account online with digital ID, while 37 percent aged 55 or older were least likely to have opened an account online.

“With young people spending so much of their time online, there are naturally more potential touchpoints for fraudsters to target,” Kiely says. “Meanwhile, older generations tend to be naturally less trusting of digital, so some fraudsters may see young adults as an easier target.”

To overcome these concerns, he says it is paramount that banks invest in the right technologies to deliver the highest level of security at every stage of digital banking while also addressing the demand for a smooth and straightforward experience.

VeriFast closes $3.5M seed round to expand mortgage underwriting service

The wave of digitalization of financial infrastructure continues in Canada, too, with biometric verification-as-a-service company VeriFast announcing the completion of its $3.5 million seed funding to serve the mortgage underwriting market.

The financing was led by M3 Financial Group with participation from real estate consultants Scott McGillivray and Michael Sarracini of Keyspire, and “Millionaire Mom” real estate investor Susan White Livermore.

“Efficiently collecting and analyzing financial data is at the core of every business that requires underwriting approval of new customers,” says VeriFast co-founder Tim Ray.

“Our platform offers clients transparency with faster decisioning integrated into their existing workflows,” says Ray.

VeriFast has partnerships with leading proptech, or real estate property technology, vendors in the U.S. and Canada to automate financial checks, KYC and ID verifications. The company’s platform provides real-time financial checks combined with AI to verify data points beyond traditional credit checks, according to the announcement.

“We are also experiencing rapid solution adoption with mortgage lenders who want to digitize and streamline their pre-approval and underwriting processes, shaving labor costs and compressing approval cycles by up to 90 percent.”

The investment comes at a time of substantial growth for VeriFast, which earlier this month launched a tenant-screening product with Rent Panda and days later completed two executive hires.

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