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Lloyds Banking Group invests £10M in Yoti for new digital ID for all to launch this year

Lloyds Banking Group invests £10M in Yoti for new digital ID for all to launch this year

London-based digital identity provider Yoti is getting a £10 million (US$11.9 million) investment from Lloyds Banking Group to support new technology for online safety and to develop a new digital ID app to be launched later in the year.

Lloyds Banking Group is the UK’s largest retail and commercial financial services provider with 26 million customers across Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows.

However, the app will be available to anyone living in the UK and there are no details on how the Group’s companies may use the app. Alternative options for accessing banking services will remain available.

Yoti already offers its own Digital ID app plus a collaboration with the Post Office called EasyID, which is also open to all. In terms of physical access to branches, the Lloyds Banking Group has around 1,000 compared to 11,500 for the Post Office which also has services in a further 13,000 shops.

The distinction between the products is not yet clear in terms of branding or features other than the Lloyds-funded product could be more focused on tackling fraud. No details are yet available as to how biometrics may be incorporated as with the other products, or whether the Yoti apps will be interoperable.

Yoti’s existing products are being used for age verification for age-protected products and cinema entry and gambling. It has participated in sandbox trials for alcohol purchase (licensing law still requires physical ID).

The firm also develops age estimation technology using facial analysis for retail and used by Instagram, but these technologies are not covered by the investment.

Kirsty Rutter, fintech investment director at Lloyds Banking Group, says in the announcement, “We know how important fintechs and technology partners are for delivering better outcomes for our customers and this investment represents another step forward in our plans to strengthen the UK’s financial ecosystem and is a crucial part of how we help Britain prosper.”

The Group recently formed a Fintech Investment team which has led the investment. This is the first external funding as previous investment has come from private investors, along with two of its founders, Robin Tombs and Noel Hayden.

The new funds bring total investment in the firm to £125 million ($149 million). Yoti is still aiming to raise additional money in a Series-B investment round.

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