Roger Tyrzyk, IDnow: Helping online operators stop the bad guys

‘Non manipulable’ identity verification solutions, such as those provided by IDnow, are vital across all industries where companies carry out customer interactions that require a high level of security – something which can, of course, be applied to online gambling.

We asked Roger Tyrzyk, IDnow Country Manager for UK&I, Malta and Cyprus (pictured above), to discuss the ‘best of both’ human and machine approach to applying identity checks, why we need to adopt a different perspective to protect people affected by COVID-19, and how its products are ‘future proof’ to fresh regulatory demands.

SBC: Hi Roger, in just a few words can you explain what you do? 

RT: IDnow offers an Identity-Verification-as-a-Service (IVaaS) platform. We use AI technology combined with human expertise to ensure that all necessary security features are present on a submitted ID document whilst reliably detecting forged documents in the process. Basically, we help stop the bad guys.

SBC: Picking up on this hybrid solution combining the best of humans and machines; can you see a time where human input wouldn’t be needed?

RT: There will definitely come a time when humans will no longer be needed, but at this moment in time, that feels very far away. Identity in itself is very complex because there is no standard across the globe.

However, you have to keep in mind that every operator has their own way of doing things, and it is them who are the experts – we are complementing their technology to make it as easy as possible. 

We are there to listen, understand their requirements and to come up with a viable solution. As a company, we are always trying to find ways to innovate our offering, so all I can say is: watch this space!

SBC: Looking more specifically at the gambling industry, why does your technology provide the best support to its online operators?

RT: We are very flexible, secure and easy to use and that’s why operators like working with us. Whether it’s a simple, automated document verification or a more complex video verification in regards to affordability, IDnow can deliver it all.

SBC: Gambling regulators have started to look more closely at age and identity verification; have you been forced to change anything to meet new demands?

RT: So far, we have been very lucky in a way that our products are future proof and so no changes have had to be made. We are also working closely with regulators across the globe to provide as much expertise on up and coming regulations, which in some cases can make all the difference because we are always prepared for the next steps.

SBC: What has been the impact of COVID-19 on fraud prevention for the industry? Have you seen more creative attempts by fraudsters to bypass the safeguards?

RT: I don’t think the impact on operators themselves has been too severe so far. What we sometimes forget is how good operators are at spotting fraudulent activity because they have the right technology in place to do so. Obviously fraudsters with a lot of time on their hands are able to conjure up more sophisticated plans, and we have to react to that as a whole group. With a quick search on the internet you can buy fake IDs for €50. 

On the other end, there are also countless documents going for over €2000, so it really can get as creative as you can imagine. From our perspective, we have the most secure checks available to spot these fake documents which our competitors don’t have – again one of the ways we are able to support operators.

SBC: What do you expect to see in terms of new regulations passed in key jurisdictions, particularly around AML and affordability, once the crisis is over?

RT: I expect a lot of new regulations and guidance to come out during the crisis, which in some cases has already happened with the UKGC being on the forefront of affordability checks. After the crisis we really have to look at these things from a different perspective to protect people who might have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. Regulation never stops.

SBC: How important is customer experience around KYC processes?

RT: For an operator, customer experience is key because they have so many competitors where potential customers can just go to instead. 

This is not exclusive to gambling – the same thing applies to fintechs. If you don’t have a “cool” onboarding process like, for example, N26, people won’t finish the process and will just go somewhere else. Again, it’s our job to make sure we deliver the best customer experience to both the operator and the consumer.

SBC: And just finally, what technological advancements do you expect to see around the safer onboarding of players throughout the rest of 2020?

RT: Operators should expect better conversion rates (90%+), improvements to UX, advancements on document security feature authentication and more use of video verification technology.

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