It's likely that even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, we will see the growth in remote working and demand for fast and secure access to an increasing array of digital assets sustained, replacing the need for physical access in many spheres. In the current crisis online healthcare has seen weekly volumes increased by 4x; remittance and payments 1.3x; and paid and volunteer worker verifications needed to help with relief efforts 6x.
But as more businesses and services move online, it becomes easier for criminals to hide their real identity, with identity fraud already one of the fastest growing crimes, contributing to some five percent of the world GDP being laundered money - some US$ 2 trillion (£1.8 trillion).
Against this background it's not so surprising to see a UK-based international start-up using AI for identity verification and authentication, Onfido, announcing a US$100 million (£91 million) funding round, led by TPG Growth, bringing total investment in the company to US$200 million (£182 million).
Onfido’s aim is to replace the role of credit bureaus by verifying a user’s real identity through analysis of photo IDs, matching against selfie videos, using AI to catch fakes. Global users include CLEAR, Revolut and Expensify.
“Over the coming years, we’ll all be able to use our real identity to seamlessly access everything from financial services, online healthcare and trust marketplaces, to self-check-ins at airports, hotels and car rentals,” said Husayn Kassai, CEO and co-founder of Onfido in an email to SC Media UK. He adds: “Passwords will become a thing of the past as a method for accessing digital services, as will queuing for hours to vote in person. We’re standardising the way everyone proves their real identity, in a similar way to how Facebook has standardised the way everyone shares their social identity, and LinkedIn has standardised the way everyone signals their professional identity. We are excited to leverage the expertise of our investor base to continue to scale our business.”