Amid the growing excitement about selfie-based biometric onboarding technology, Jumio has distinguished itself as a solutions provider in part through its many industry accolades: just recently, the company announced that it had been named one of the 20 Coolest Identity Access Management and Data Protection Companies on CRN’s annual listing. Of course, the accolades wouldn’t be pouring in without a solid product, and that has helped to fuel demand and accelerate a strong growth phase for the company, which recently appointed three new executives to help keep the momentum going.
It’s no surprise, then, that growth is an underlying theme in a new interview with Jumio CEO Robert Prigge, who acknowledges that “2020 was a landmark year for Jumio.” But he also touches on a number of other important topics, including some interesting trends in online fraud, the challenge of overcoming AI bias, and Jumio’s plans for its KYX platform. First, though, the conversation starts with an overview of how Jumio adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic…
FindBiometrics: How did Jumio respond to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020?
Robert Prigge, CEO, Jumio: COVID-19 showcased the value of IT and digital transformation and the need for businesses of all sizes to accelerate efforts to move their critical presence online to remain competitive. Streamlining the digital customer onboarding journey is a key component of this evolution.
Jumio announced Jumio Go for Good in March 2020, an initiative to provide free Jumio Go identity verification services to qualifying organizations directly involved in helping with COVID-19 relief. These organizations included, but were not limited to healthcare organizations, schools and universities transitioning to online learning, banks moving business operations and processes for new account creation to digital onboarding, and a variety of philanthropic organizations who helped provide essential services.
The Jumio Go for Good program has had a significant impact on dozens of organizations looking to cross the digital divide and remain resilient during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
FindBiometrics: Of course, as a company that provides remote identity verification, Jumio’s solutions were in high demand as digital transformation and remote work trends accelerated. What were your company’s biggest achievements in 2020?
Robert Prigge, CEO, Jumio: 2020 was a landmark year for Jumio. We set an all-time record for verification transactions processed thanks to the aforementioned accelerated digital transformation efforts by key customers in the banking, financial services, healthcare and education sectors.
In addition to record sales and record volumes, we launched the Jumio KYX Platform, an end-to-end identity verification and eKYC platform, and acquired the AML platform from Beam Solutions, a San Francisco-based startup focused on transaction monitoring, case management and AML screening. Integrating Beam’s suite of AML solutions into Jumio’s platform further strengthens our position in the anti-financial crime marketplace and provides organizations in regulated industries a complete end-to-end compliance platform.
FindBiometrics: Last quarter, Jumio published its annual Holliday Fraud Report—an insightful eBook that helps set the bar for the discourse around the ongoing fraud arms race. What were some of the more interesting findings in 2020’s study?
Robert Prigge, CEO, Jumio: 2020 was by no means a typical year and we were especially curious about what we’d learn and what pandemic-related patterns would emerge. Would online fraud rates go up as businesses scrambled to let customers open accounts online instead of in person? Surprisingly, Jumio saw new account fraud rates based on ID verification drop 23.2 percent worldwide compared to 2019 results. At the same time, selfie-based fraud rates were five times higher than ID-based fraud. This illustrates the growing number of stolen ID documents available on the dark web for purchase and, more importantly, the growing need to determine if an ID is authentic and belongs to the user.
FindBiometrics: From your perspective, what is the biggest challenge facing the biometrics industry as we enter 2021 and what opportunities does it present?
Robert Prigge, CEO, Jumio: The topic of AI, data and ethnicity is not new, but it must come to a head in 2021. Demographic bias in AI algorithms (race, age, gender) and its effect on brands is a top concern, leading enterprises to put a stronger emphasis on how identity verification vendors address this bias.
According to Gartner, more than 95 percent of RFPs for document-centric identity proofing (comparing a government-issued ID to a selfie) will contain clear requirements regarding minimizing demographic bias by 2022, an increase from fewer than 15 percent today. Organizations will increasingly need to have clear answers to organizations who want to know how a vendor’s AI “black box” was built, where the data originated from and how representative the training data is to the broader population being served.
As organizations continue to adopt biometric-based facial recognition technology for identity verification, the industry must address the inherent bias in systems. Researchers at MIT who analyzed imagery datasets used to develop facial recognition technologies found that 77 percent of images were male and 83 percent were white, signaling to one of the main reasons why systematic bias exists in facial recognition technology. In 2021, guidelines will be introduced to offset this systematic bias. Until then, organizations using facial recognition technology should be asking their technology providers how their algorithms are trained to ensure the data is representative and not from purchased data sets.
FindBiometrics: What can we expect from Jumio in the coming 12 months?
Over the next 12 months, Jumio will continue to build out its KYX platform – a platform designed for enterprises to streamline the onboarding and KYC journey. Customers, users, patients, employees … whoever the “X” is in your business, Jumio’s end-to-end platform is designed to increase the identity assurance of remote users.
Jumio is developing the KYX platform to operate as a single API which will enable greater flexibility and orchestration. The Jumio KYX Platform includes three layers:
KYX Engine: The engine behind the Jumio KYX Platform includes a number of interwoven features, including an award-winning UX, state-of-the-art AI/ML, customized workflows, global coverage and bank-grade security. This will include an orchestration layer that allows companies to determine the order of the KYC processes and data checks when onboarding new users..
Identity Proofing: Organizations can layer in a number of identity services and fraud signals to increase the level of identity assurance and answer the fundamental questions: is the user who they claim to be online and is it safe to start doing business with them?
Authentication and AML Services: After the account has been created, Jumio offers a number of services designed to safeguard the account against account takeover and monitor ongoing transactions for potential money laundering and other financial crimes. Jumio acquired Beam Solutions in 2020 and is adding transaction monitoring, SARs reporting and case management to its growing suite of AML services.
This interview is part of the 18th Annual FindBiometrics Year in Review. Find a list of all our Year in Review content, including industry analysis, podcast episodes, and more expert interviews in our ongoing roundup.