LEADER Q&A: Rupert Spiegelberg, CEO of IDnow

Founded in 2014, IDnow has an EU patented video identification and eSigning solution, that is being used for both customer identification and contract conclusion online by organisations including Commerzbank, UBS and Telefónica. The CEO of IDnow, Rupert Spiegelberg talks to the ID Bulletin about identity as a service and the importance of reducing friction in the identification process to help increase sales conversions.

Can you introduce the concept of identity as a service?

Digital identities are becoming the new currency, and businesses need an easy, trusted and compliant way of finding out who their customers really are. We live in a ‘now economy’ and customers want instant gratification in a way that suits our busy ‘on the go’ lifestyle. As a result, we are seeing more and more traditionally offline transactions move online to provide customers with instant access to services at any time and from any device.

Nowhere is this more true than in the financial services sector.  Here we see new market entrants emerging almost daily with a compelling proposition that offers a fast and convenient method of signing up, but how can customers be sure that their engagement with such companies is safeguarded? 

I can’t speak for all identity solutions, but certainly the IDnow platform has been significantly enhanced with biometric, computer vision and security fraud detection technologies that gives it extensive ID verification capabilities.  In addition, it meets the high security and fraud detection requirements of strictly regulated environments for financial services and telecommunications sectors in countries like Germany, Switzerland and other European countries. 

So identity-as-a-service enables companies to increase customer conversion rates on a fast, simple workflow in a highly secure manner.  

What types of organisation are using identity as a service and for what purpose?

The financial sector has been greatly impacted by identity as a service. Consumers want quick and easy access to accounts, loans and mortgages. Both challenger banks and traditional banks are moving towards a more digital centric approach: for challenger banks this provides a perfect platform for them to gain a more aggressive market share, and traditional banks are looking to modernise and adapt to cater towards a more digitally driven generation.

However, it is not just the financial sector which is being impacted, identity as a service spans across any sector where ID or age verification is needed, such as renting a car or online gambling sites. In addition, identity as a service can also be used to help to safeguard and improve the customer experience, for example look at the use of social media and dating sites; how do you know the person you are speaking with, really is who they say they are. A quick and simple identity verification process can eliminate this concern.

One of the challenges with ID verification using biometrics is the initial onboarding process of customers. How does IDnow tackle this? 

While transactions have to remain watertight it’s important that the onboarding experience is convenient and fast for the customer – after all this is why they signed up. IDnow offers valid authentication within two minutes, ensuring the process is fast, efficient and seamless.

In addition, the platform can be tailored to suit business or legal requirements. Some industries require a more intensive process. With IDnow businesses can take advantage of a process that suits their needs whether this is fully automated, semi-automated or agent-assisted.

How secure is the solution against attempts of fraud? E.g using fraudulent documents?

Extremely secure!  The IDnow platform is the only solution on the market that can detect the security features on passports, ID cards and drivers’ licenses by checking for the hologram security features which ensures fraud is kept to an absolute minimum.

IDnow places a lot of emphasis on driving customer conversions. Can you explain how organisations can use identity as a competitive advantage?

Yes absolutely!  One of our biggest areas of focus is to help our clients increase the number of customers that enter the funnel to actually sign up by reducing the ‘friction’ from the process.  So we specialise in the ‘last mile’ of that sign up process, if you like.  Key drivers of conversion rates are friction, ie: how quickly the ID can be completed end to end, the quality of technology, ie: ability to capture good quality photos, identify documents, compare faces and read security features and UX (user experience) ie: how seamlessly it can be integrated into existing apps or websites.

For more information about the IDnow platform visit: www.idnow.io