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Gaming firms look to biometrics to balance fraud prevention with CX

iDenfy, Yoti and TrustCloud posting new clients
Gaming firms look to biometrics to balance fraud prevention with CX

From online games of chance to MMORPGs, age verification is key to success, ensuring legal and regulatory compliance with as little friction as possible for maximum security, retention and revenue. Biometric verification is seeing continued growth. Meanwhile, a new threat to fairness in online multiplayer gaming has also met its match in biometric analysis.

Lithuanian gaming upstart enlists iDenfy for selfie-to-ID verification

Lithuania-based identity verification and fraud prevention firm iDenfy has made a deal with the country’s fastest-growing online gambling brand, Spins. A press release says iDenfy’s software will undergird Spins’ secure registration process, verifying user ID and age for compliance and security.

As in many regulated industries facing rapid technological change, Lithuania’s iGaming sector is playing catch-up with constantly evolving regulations. This is a particular challenge for a rapidly expanding business like Spins, which operates more than 2,000 games on its platform, and is looking to continue its rapid expansion of both games and users, while minimizing risk. One particular pain point is bonuses, which online gambling firms offer as an incentive to new customers, but which open the door for various types of fraud, such as bonus abuse, chargebacks, and account takeover (ATO).

The goal, says iDenfy’s CEO, Domantas Ciulde, is to balance tight security and regulatory compliance with smooth customer experience – something he says iDenfy’s all-in-one ID verification software achieves.

“At iDenfy, our goal is to minimize the hassle to our customers and our partners, which means we must find the balance between complete fraud prevention and excellent user experience,” Ciulde says. The company’s face biometrics product boasts quick processing time, high verification speed, strong fraud prevention capabilities, a large global document base and 24-7 support from an in-house KYC specialist. It uses selfie-to-ID document matching and authentication for government-issued ID.

“We’re excited to partner with a responsible, user-centric iGaming platform Spins and ensure that all age-verified users are swiftly approved to start their gaming experience,” says Ciulde.

Yoti’s facial age estimation technology is like part of the game

Lockwood Publishing, a UK-headquartered independent designer of virtual worlds for mobile and console gaming, has high praise for Yoti’s facial estimation tech. Posting on LinkedIn, Yoti CEO Robin Tombs quotes Lockwood’s director of player support, Claire Panter, calling Yoti’s technology “an accurate, fun and interactive solution, which adds value to the gaming experience.”

“The more steps you add in a player’s way, the higher the chance they’ll drop off,” says Panter, in a quote also posted on Yoti’s blog. “But Yoti’s age estimation adds to the overall game experience.” Lockwood Publishing implemented the age estimation software in its online simulation game, Avakin Life, in late-2023 to allow players’ avatars to enter age-restricted spaces and ensure they are interacting with other adults.

Privacy figured heavily into Lockwood’s decision: Yoti’s facial age estimation does not require any ID document or data retention, and the software deletes all image data once it has delivered a user’s age estimate.

“Make no mistake,” writes Robin Tombs, “facial age estimation will very quickly become the dominant form of age checking. And with good quality liveness and injection detection, it is very hard to spoof.”

How to combat smurfing with biometric analysis

“Smurfing” is the latest scourge to the online multiplayer gaming world, and it has nothing to do with tiny blue humanoids. A post on Identity Week authored by TrustCloud explains the issue, more prosaically known as multi-accounting: experienced players use fake accounts and identities to play against less accomplished players, giving them an unfair advantage. This subverts systems designed to group together players with similar skill levels, and can undermine player trust, putting retention and revenue at risk.

TrustCloud says it is able, “through solutions such as video identification, document verification or biometric analysis, to address the damaging effects of smurfing on the reputation of gaming platforms.” Machine learning that can identify suspicious or unlikely player behavior compared against established profiles can help stamp out smurfers, and robust document verification can prevent the creation of smurf accounts.

“Biometric analysis and, especially, blockchain technology are helping create highly secure yet transparent identification systems,” reads the TrustCloud post. “These trends allow us to envision a future where smurfing is eliminated, and players can enjoy a fair, secure, and authentic gaming experience.”

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