Much like the initial scepticism to credit cards when they were first introduced, there has been some apprehension over the use of e-trust solutions. However, the industry is proving they are secure and effective, and their use is on the rise. Electronic IDentification is on a mission to make digital identity solutions the norm.
Electronic IDentification was born in 2013 as a RegTech software manufacturer. It created VideoID, a patented asynchronous video identification solution, which can automatically identify users in seconds and offers the same level of security as face-to-face identification methods.
Iván Nabalón, founder and CEO of Electronic IDentification, said that digital certificates in the late 90s were insufficient. “The problem with the digital certificates 20 years ago is you had to do the face identification before the issuance of the qualified electronic signatures in person, offline. We solved this, and have been working all these years, on one side with the technology and on the other with the regulators.”
eID has positioned itself as a leader in digital identification technology.
Testament to this, eID’s flagship solution VideoID is the first eIDAS-certified product in Europe for the issuance of qualified certificates of remote individuals. Nabalón said VideoID combines video streaming and artificial intelligence in order to make ID verification more secure. The solution makes sure the person is who they say they are and their ID card or passport is legitimate and authentic.
This technology, Nabalón said, has become the standard for ID verification. “It is now serving to issue the Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES). The combination of Video ID with the new generation of qualified electronic signatures is creating a strong digital identity valid for any regulated industry in any country in the world.
“It is the first time in history that you can onboard in one country and be valid for the more stringent KYC in another.”
Increased digital reliance
The pandemic shifted opinions on the use of digital identity solutions and QES. Nabalón said that during the worst of the lockdown period, companies could not initially use digital channels to do important things like pay taxes and access finance. This was of course not sustainable and so the use of remote digital methods was accelerated. Further still, the environment of uncertainty caused by the pandemic forces businesses and citizens to accelerate their technological training and digital skills in order to carry out their day-to-day operations normally.
“Covid-19 has done more for digital identity than any other thing. We were expecting this shift in ten years, but the pandemic accelerated it.”
As more people and companies become increasingly digitally reliant in the months that follow the pandemic, the use of e-trust solutions is only going to grow further. However, is there a risk that people simply return to their old ways of doing things?
Nabalón believes not. “There is no way we will go back to the old days. Since we have started seeing so many benefits of this technology.”
The tidal wave of the use of e-trust solutions has only just begun. “These solutions are just starting to be used, to be honest. Regulated industries, governments, cross-border travel, financial services, health services, are just at the beginning of adopting these. Solutions such as QES are going to be key in these digitalisation processes.”
Rise of financial crime
There are growing challenges from financial crime and cyber-attacks, this is compounded by the drive to digitalise and as more services are moved online. eID’s technology offers a solution to tackle this.
“We are always trying to introduce new technologies all the time. People and society always require more security than offline transactions. Our technology is twice as secure as in-person verification or handwriting scenarios. But we are still being challenged by society to add more secure solutions,” Nabalón said.
One rising threat is identity fraud, specifically, facial spoofing. Many cases of spoofing fraud attacks are conducted through email or a computer. One of the most well-known and dangerous forms of spoofing is facial spoofing – which consists of imitating or using a person’s face to pretend to be that person in order to trick the facial biometric identification systems to commit bank identity fraud.
According to eID, the industry has picked up on this issue and developed anti-spoofing face recognition technology. Facial anti-spoofing protection is an anti-spoofing technology that blocks and alerts the relevant authorities or entities related to protecting the rights of users and the firms they interact with on a daily basis.
The RegTech company advocated for online onboarding via video streaming as the safest and most effective customer onboarding method to detect identity spoofing. The company’s SmileID solution is an anti-spoofing technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Smile ID bases its facial identification system on data obtained by streaming video identification, with VideoID, and integrates different anti-spoofing protection.
Of course, new challenges will continue to arise, such as geometric attacks, Nabalón added, but eID’s technology is ready to cope with that.
Some individuals or companies may remain apprehensive about the use of digital identity solutions. Nabalón said that this is a pattern that is not confined to e-trust solutions. “With new technologies, people are often apprehensive at the beginning.”
“Remember, for instance, when credit cards were first introduced. People were frightened and scared they would lose their money, and there was a reluctance to use the cards.” Contrast that to now; the payment industry has demonstrated these mechanisms are secure, and people use them in their daily lives.
Key factors to cutting through this apprehension, according to Nabalón, are trust and time. “Since the regulation now includes VideoID, there is nothing stopping us from getting solutions such as QES to go mainstream. It is just a matter of trust and time until everyone in the world can access a digital identity and use it in their daily lives.”
Nabalón said eID has had a really tough year, as there were a lot of delays in securing the regulation for its QES+ solution. “But now we are the only company in the world issuing QES remotely via the VideoID… we are ready for the explosion that we will see in the market, as we look to grow.”
He added he foresees three “fantastic” deals on the horizon for eID, with “no limits” on the company’s ability to grow further.
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