Your Face
Your Data
Your Future.

Onfido have a plan to make your digital life easier, quicker, and more secure.

We are all familiar with how rapidly facial recognition technology is moving into our everyday lives - there is a good chance that this morning you used your ‘faceprint’ to unlock your phone. 

Passwords are hacked, data is stolen; but if your face could be used to open a bank account, purchase something online, or even receive payment, then this would be a huge leap towards helping both the individual, and the business cut out identity theft.

All it would take would be a platform that could relay the information securely between the user and the business...

We met with Husayn Kassai, co-founder and CEO of Onfido, to understand how their AI-based technology can improve business efficiency by assessing whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine by comparing it against their facial biometrics. Their digital verification technology gives companies like Revolut, Couchsurfing and Orange the assurance they need to on-board customers remotely, securely and efficiently.

Husayn is one of the UK’s most dynamic entrepreneurs. In 2019 he was ranked 18th in the Business Insider UK Tech 100 most influential people shaping British technology.

Onfido is the most successful European graduate start-up, in terms of the founders being straight out of University, employee growth size, investment raised and by percentage growth over time. They recently announced year-over-year growth of 93%. Husayn, “This was fuelled by further collaboration with global financial service organisations including challenger banks and companies focused on retail investments, payments and crypto. Key new business wins included Microsoft, Orange and Volkswagen Financial Services. We were also delighted with two industry awards for our innovations around biometrics and machine learning/AI”.   

We met with Husayn Kassai, co-founder and CEO of Onfido to understand how their AI-based technology can improve business efficiency by assessing whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine by comparing it against their facial biometrics. Their digital verification technology gives companies like Revolut, Couchsurfacing and Orange the assurance they need to on-board customers remotely, securely and efficiently.

Husayn is one of the UK’s most dynamic entrepreneurs. In 2019 he was ranked 18th in the Business Insider UK Tech 100 most influential people shaping British technology.

Onfido is the most successful European graduate start-up, in terms of the founders being straight out of University, employee growth size, investment raised and by percentage growth over time. They recently announced year-over-year growth of 93%. Husayn, “This was fuelled by further collaboration with global financial service organisations including challenger banks and companies focused on retail investments, payments and crypto. Key new business wins included Microsoft, Orange and Volkswagen Financial Services. We were also delighted with two industry awards for our innovations around biometrics and machine learning/AI”.   

JOURNEY FROM UNIVERSITY
SPIN-OUT TO GLOBAL LEADER

When we graduated from Keble College, Oxford it was acknowledged that the vast majority of successful start-ups are not started by graduates, but by people who had worked in financial services or management consultancy.

One early investor asked me if I was starting my own company because I couldn’t get a job”.
Husayn Kassai, co-founder and CEO of Onfido

From those early days in Oxford, Onfido has now grown to a team of over 450, received over $200 million in venture capital funding and has offices in London, San Francisco, New York, Lisbon, Paris, New Delhi and Singapore.

One of their earliest breaks came from investment by Brent Hoberman, co-founder and former CEO of lastminute.com whom Husayn had stayed in regular contact with after meeting through the Oxford Entrepreneurs society. This resulted in further investment from Microsoft, Talis Capital, SBI investment and Salesforce.

WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR ONFIDO COME FROM?

As a child born to an Iranian father and British mother, Husayn struggled to understand why it took so long for his parents to open a bank account and rent in their own names as they were not registered with a UK credit bureau.

This inspired him to create Onfido whose mission is to facilitate an open worldwide verification entity and empower consumers to own and control their legal identity where they can decide which businesses they want to access their personal data.

WHO DOES ONFIDO WORK WITH?

Onfido works with over 1,500 companies to verify their users.

With Revolut, the mobile first online bank, they collaborated to create an on-boarding workflow that delivers the security of a face-to-face interaction within Revolut’s app. The resulting identity document and facial check is seamless for customers and allows Revolut to gain a higher degree of certainty about the identity of their users and ensure that nationality is no barrier to opening a Revolut account. 

Since working with Onfido, Revolut has increased the volume checks they run by 293% and has completed checks at an average of 38 seconds faster than Revolut’s previous provider. This has allowed Revolut to increase the number of users onboarded by 12%. These efficiencies have delivered huge gains for the business.

Another Onfido success is Couchsurfing, the homestay and social networking service, who were looking for a solution to improve trust between its users. With members from over 100 countries, Couchsurfing had no way of truly verifying who they were.

Onfido created a unique workflow which combines a user’s document check with a facial similarity check to verify that the user actually exists.

Couchsurfing is now able to quickly on-board and verify new users in less than 20 minutes in over 200,000 cities whilst also reducing user dropout. As users can verify themselves, this has increased trust and safety in the Couchsurfing community”.
Picture of Amy Wallace - General Counsel

Amy Wallace - General Counsel

Amy Wallace - General Counsel

Husayn Kassai - Cofounder & CEO

Husayn Kassai - Cofounder & CEO

Eamon Jubbawy - Cofounder & COO

Eamon Jubbawy - Cofounder & COO

Francesco Cardi - Chief Strategy Officer

Francesco Cardi - Chief Strategy Officer

David Clarke - Chief Financial Officer

David Clarke - Chief Financial Officer

Kevin Trilli - Chief Product Officer

Kevin Trilli - Chief Product Officer

Tom Ammirati - Chief Revenue Officer

Tom Ammirati - Chief Revenue Officer

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Picture of Amy Wallace - General Counsel

Amy Wallace - General Counsel

Amy Wallace - General Counsel

Husayn Kassai - Cofounder & CEO

Husayn Kassai - Cofounder & CEO

Eamon Jubbawy - Cofounder & COO

Eamon Jubbawy - Cofounder & COO

Francesco Cardi - Chief Strategy Officer

Francesco Cardi - Chief Strategy Officer

David Clarke - Chief Financial Officer

David Clarke - Chief Financial Officer

Kevin Trilli - Chief Product Officer

Kevin Trilli - Chief Product Officer

Tom Ammirati - Chief Revenue Officer

Tom Ammirati - Chief Revenue Officer

GLOBAL FRAUD INDEX

With fraud currently costing the global economy over $5 trillion dollars, in 2019 Onfido created their first Global Fraud Index so businesses can keep up with remote identity fraud.

When IDs are verified face-to-face, fraudsters only have one chance of getting it right. Online fraudsters can replicate a successful scam thousands of times. Repeat offenders are the biggest financial risks to businesses and take their work very seriously treating it as a 9 to 5 job: attacks were higher on weekdays and dropped off over the weekends.

The pandemic has accelerated this. In their 2020 Global Fraud Index, Onfido identified that fraud rate had increased by 41% during the first lockdown driven by a new wave of fraudsters entering the marketplace taking advantage to perpetrate attacks throughout the week. Professional fraudsters appear to be working overtime with the activity level at these times further bolstered by the growing ‘talent pool’ of non-professionals.

Husayn commented, “Covid-19 catalysed massive growth in identity fraud attempts, with industries like financial services disproportionately affected. Fraud is constantly evolving as fraudsters develop new attack vectors, switch their focus to target new industries, or simply repeat tried-and-tested methods with minimal modifications. We aim to work with businesses to on-board customers quicker, grow revenue top line and reduce fraud bottom line whilst helping them maintain and drive business efficiencies”. 

“With sensitive and personally identifiable information easily gleaned from social media and available for sale on the dark web, database checks are no longer fit for purpose. Businesses can significantly lower the risk of fraud to their organisation and customers by looking at more sophisticated identity verification methods such as biometric authentication”.
Tom Llewellyn, Royds Withy King Dispute Resolution Partner

A PASSWORDLESS FUTURE

Passwords were once one of our most trusted security measures, but over the past decade, the average person’s digital footprint has been exposed to increasing numbers of third parties.

Now the average consumer manages over 191 pairs of usernames and passwords. As a result, people reuse the same passwords across various services.

80% of cyber-attacks are password-related. Knowledge-based authentication is a major headache for not only for users; for companies’ IT help desks, password resets account for nearly 50% of costs. The vast majority of data breaches stem from weak or stolen authentication credentials.

"A whole host of developers are in the process of creating their own passwordless solutions using the WebAuthn and other standards."
Carl Selby, Royds Withy King Commercial Partner and Head of Technology

Onfido is collaborating with the World Economic Forum to look at a passwordless future by leveraging identity verification in the form of identity document checks and using biometrics such as fingerprints or facial features. This will allow businesses to be more efficient as they remove the need for passwords whilst increasing security.

Carl Selby, Royds Withy King Commercial Partner and Head of Technology concluded, “Passwordless authentication will increasingly provide convenient access for users, strengthened security and business efficiencies. Microsoft has already enabled passwordless sign in to Windows 10 through Windows Hello while enterprise users can set up passwordless access to their networks and services using Azure Active Directory. 

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a whole host of developers are in the process of creating their own passwordless solutions using the WebAuthn and other standards, which should allow users to sign up and sign in to web services without a password.  However, the password is set to be around for a while longer yet and will remain a weak link in organisations' security measures.  There are various methods organisations can use to improve digital security including implementing single sign on, multi factor authentication, pass keys, biometric device sign in and enterprise password managers to complement passwords which all organisations should consider adopting if they have not done so already”.


Carl Selby,
Royds Withy King Commercial Partner & Head of Technology

T: 01865 264004
M: 07590 845 436 
E: carl.selby@roydswithyking.com