WebID Solutions: A Frontrunner in Digital Identity Verification
Frank Stefan Jorga, CEO
Before the advent of online banking, opening a bank account meant visiting the nearest local branch or post-office for a face-to-face identification process. However, that scenario has changed over the years: today, banks offer almost all banking services online, keeping up with the customers’ expectations of accessing these quickly and securely. However, unfortunately, as financial institutions strive to increase their breadth of online services, they significantly attract attention from cybercriminals and fraudsters. This is due to the fact that large customer data sets, amassed over long periods of time, are highly prized targets for hackers and identity thieves. A study conducted in 2018 by Identity Theft Resource Center reveals that 446,515,334 personal records were exposed in Europe, and according to online fraud statistics from the consumer credit reporting company Experian, 40 per cent of consumers across the world have been targets of identity theft at least once. Within such an environment, it becomes a daunting task for the banks to deploy robust authentication processes, especially when they are required to abide by the Payment Services Directive (PSD 2) regulation.
That being said, an increasing number of banks look forward to collaborating with Fintech companies to make their processes more secure when it comes to identity authentication. Considering these requirements of financial institutions, German-based WebID has been innovating and continuously refining the meticulous processes behind personal legitimation, carving out a niche for themselves. Founded in 2012, WebID is the first company to develop video identification and online contract signing under the German Money Laundering Act and eIDAS regulations. The Fintech company provides digital identification products and facilitates legally compliant online contract signatures that enable banks to offer their customers a completely digital banking experience.
"WebID is the single largest provider of digital identities—that are AML as well as GDPR compliant—to the banking arena as well as other enterprises across Europe."
A Flexible and Dynamic Authentication Process
Personal identification is a part of everyday business transactions for financial institutions, tourist agencies, and numerous other organizations. Whether it is about opening an account or opting for a rental car, providing identity proof is mandatory. “Before WebID arrived on the scene, there was no solution to onboard a customer with the highest quality of authentication besides physical identification in the European market,” Frank S. Jorga, founder and CEO of WebID solutions, explains.
Looking at the future of all regulated markets, the company is continuously building new products to put them to test and examine how quickly they adapt in fresh pastures.
WebID’s approach toward traditional authentication processes led to the inception of its first solution, WebID Video Identification. The patented video identification method from WebID provides legally compliant yet fast and convenient verification. WebID identification can be used from any Internet-enabled device, following an account opening process that requires customers to filling personal data in an online form. The identification process is conducted via a video call, during which WebID agents verify the authenticity of the photo ID and match it to the customers’ face. The WebID Identification service is available at 365 days a year and is extremely secure, as the transaction is completed by entering a TAN password.
Another issue that complicates the digital verification process is the necessity of ‘hand-signed signatures’ on contracts and documents until quite recently. To help banks overcome this, WebID offers WebID QES, a legally compliant digital signing of contracts based on a qualified electronic signature (QES) in compliance with eIDAS regulation. In combination with the video identification product, legal contracts such as instalment credit, rental agreements, loan documents, and more can be signed using the TAN password received via SMS to the client’s mobile number. Hence, the digitally-signed contracts are as legally valid as hand-signed documents. A QES can also be implemented after identification at the Point of Sale or after identification of a person via WebID database.
A Secure, Modular, and Automated Platform
Having accomplished its mission of completing an impressive number of up to 15000 video identifications per day, WebID has ventured further into producing a fully automatic identification system. By leveraging its experience in revolutionizing digital ID, the company has launched WebID AI, an API that uses cognitive intelligence to automatically complete biometric identification of customers in conformity with the standard Know-Your-Customer (KYC) processes. WebID AI was built to significantly reduce the risk of fraud and actively protect companies against online scams. By using a future-oriented architecture and state-of-the-art technology, WebID AI makes a biometric comparison between a portrait photo and an ID photo to verify KYC data. It can authenticate identity documents from 194 countries and allows users to store digital identification tags for future re-authentication. The company has accumulated 120 million data fields of more than four million peopleas a result of the digital identification process. The data gathered is stored in an encrypted container to speed up the verification process for all kinds of purposes. “WebID is the single largest provider of digital identities—that are AML as well as GDPR compliant—to the banking arena as well as other enterprises across Europe,” states Jorga.
To illustrate how effectively WebID enables clients to overcome challenges related to digital verification, Jorga narrates an instance where DKB, one of the leading digital banks in Germany, had approached them for assistance. Even though DKB was a fully digital bank with no brick-and-mortar branches before collaborating with WebID, they relied on a traditional process for on-boarding customers. This involved going to the nearest postal service and filling out an application form to verify the documents. Following that, a copy of the ID card was made, and all the documents were sent to DKB as a proof of identity. After 7 to 14 days, the customer was provided with a contract to be hand-signed and sent back to the bank for verification. The customer had to undergo this lengthy process, which could last up to one month in total, just to procure a credit card. However, today, the customer simply logs in to the website of DKB and selects the video identification option to obtain a credit card. By leveraging WebID’s platform, the process has been cut-down drastically from days to minutes. The complete identification data is sent to DKB, followed by the signing of the digital contract using a transaction number sent to the smartphone of the customer, after which a virtual credit card number is generated. Within minutes, the application for the physical credit card is processed, reducing the long waiting period before the credit card reaches the customer. With its solutions, WebID has not only significantly sped up a usually lengthy practice but has also added convenience and efficiency to it by speeding up the procedure.
Architecting the Future of Digital Identification with GTTP
Since pioneering the video identification and digital contract signing space, WebID has strived to stay ahead of its competitors by continuously innovating and displaying flexibility in catering to the needs of customers. As a culmination of all its core products, WebID has developed the ‘Global Trust Technology Platform (GTTP).’ The GTTP combines all of WebID’s core solutions as well as third-party applications that clients utilize in their day-to-day operations, in a single API platform. “Not only does WebID provide a strong API in a standard platform but also build special products to address specific client needs,” says Jorga.
To continue its growth trajectory and address the digital identification needs of banks across the globe, WebID envisions expanding its reach across international borders, particularly seeking a foothold in the US and Asian markets. The company has established its offices in three financial capitals; one on each coast in the US (Silicon Valley and New York) and one in India (Mumbai). WebID also plans to launch a new product—a fully automatic AML compliant identification solution in collaboration with a large Belgian bank—in the European market that is set to reassert its leadership position. “Looking at the future of all the regulated markets, the company is continuously building new products to put them to test in fresh pastures,” concludes Jorga.