Biometric authentication startup SmilePass opens for business

Source: SmilePass

Today marks the launch of SmilePass, the leader in a new category of ‘biometrics authentication as a service’ for insurers and financial services providers.

Its game-changing technology helps build trusted communities, by protecting financial institutions and their customers from fraud, social engineering and theft.

Fraud and social engineering affects businesses and consumers every day, spanning a range of industries - none more significantly than financial services. Data from Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention agency, revealed that insurance identity fraud had soared 10,000% between mid-2016 and mid-2017. UK insurers alone invest over £200m a year to combat fraud, with Cifas describing the problem as having reached ‘epidemic levels’.

The problem is costly for consumers, too: as premiums rise due to fraud, consumers pay extra on their annual insurance bills. With consumers increasingly embracing forms of biometric authentication, insurers and banks will look to these technologies as a key weapon in the battle against cyber fraud. But, as biometrics are still in their nascence, their use among insurers and banks remains undeveloped and vulnerable to fraud.

To meet this challenge, SmilePass uses cutting-edge deep-learning and face-matching technology, tokenised verification, and server-based security validation - all incorporated into consumer-friendly applications. This means businesses can incorporate the world’s most secure ‘selfie’ authentication into their customer on-boarding processes, without risk of cyber threat exposure.

SmilePass is equipped to provide two-way validation right across the entire customer lifecycle - from short, one-off interactions, to longer-term interactions like the relationship between an insurer and policyholder over years. The business will offer its authentication service in three tiers, to reflect the varying security needs of organisations:

• SmileCheck
A fast, low-cost option with geo-tracking. Best for frequent confirmation of presence and attendance tracking where ‘spoofing’ is not a concern
• SmileSafe
The mid-level option. Best for unsupervised verifications where ‘spoofing’ is a concern - like ID verification, staff monitoring, financial transaction approvals and insurance claims
• SmileSafe+
The premium option, with the same anti-spoofing technology and deep learning biometrics supplemented by a secure passport-based registration process. Best for verifications like remote know-your-customer (KYC), or securing transactions where the risk of fraud is high.

Grant Crow, CEO of SmilePass explained: “As we leave the analogue world behind, cybercrime will become one of the greatest threats of our time. This is particularly true for banks and insurers, who will increasingly look to biometric authentication as a tool to combat social engineering and fraud. After years spent understanding the potential, and current weaknesses, of biometric authentication, we’re confident that SmilePass is a robust solution equipped to protect businesses and their customers from social engineering and fraud - and help biometric security reach its full potential in the process.”

Businesses also face a growing regulatory burden when it comes to security and privacy of customer data - particularly in Europe, with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules coming into force on 25 May 2018. Biometric data is considered a special category of information under GDPR, meaning that unless certain conditions are met, businesses processing this type of data could be in breach of the new rules. With SmilePass, businesses can ensure their users are always taken through a GDPR-compliant verification process.

Following today’s launch, SmilePass’s biometric authentication is available as a cloud-based service to businesses globally.

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