Investments

Fresh Funding In Hand, Danal Expanding Mobile Identity Presence

If financial backing is a vote of confidence in a firm’s strategic vision, Danal, the mobile identity and authentication company, has gotten two thumbs up. Danal announced Friday that it received investments via strategic funding from mobile operator Orange and Bangkok Bank.

In an interview with Atreedev Banerjee, who serves as GM, global ops and vice president of Products, Mobile ID and Authentication at Danal, the executive brought forth news that the company is expanding in terms of geographic location and technology.

“We have been providing the mobile ID authentication services for the last four years and part of that has been aggressively looking to shape that ecosystem,” he told PYMNTS. In order to do that, he said that Danal has been partnering with what he termed “key service providers” to boost the presence and adoption of its Mobile Identity Platform. That initiative continues with the Orange and Bangkok Bank investments. “The main aspiration of these partnerships,” he said, is “to influence how identity as a service is going to be used for financial institutions, via banks, insurance companies and so on.”

Those financial institutions, he told PYMNTS, are seeking to reduce their retail and bricks-and-mortar presence, which brings with it compliance challenges, as in each country regulatory mandates do differ.

The investments, for an undisclosed sum, will help the company expand its geographic footprint into Poland, Germany, the U.K. and elsewhere.

He noted that a relationship with Orange had been in place before the most recent (dollar) investment, with Orange having recently acquired a bank (Groupama) and Danal seeking to introduce digital banking services and mobile solutions.

Along with serving the transition into digital banking and digital commerce, “the mobile operators are the key partners for Danal,” said the executive, for enabling the shift toward using mobile devices for all types of eCommerce transactions. “The technology advancements that are coming on these devices” are making it “the right time” for authentication of users for transactions, he said, noting facial recognition (via phone cameras) as an example.

“The greatest advantage that mobile operators have,” he stated, “are that when they have registered the user for the first time, they have performed the KYC (know your customer) and the background check to assure” that a person is who they say they are. Information collected through smart technology includes PII, which he said is considered by Danal and others to be “static data.”

Other data sets point to user behavior, as consumers move between locations and what types of apps they use. Insight into behavioral patterns can be analyzed and utilized for gauging risk and making decisions about transactions, he said. Anomalies give service providers good signals into potential risks and why, perhaps, authentication efforts might need to be stepped up.  “The biggest thing on everyone’s mind,” he told PYMNTS, “has been account abuse,” which has led to synthetic IDs and other fraud.

In the case of a combination of the aforementioned static and dynamic data sets, it can be determined, for example, whether consumers have been porting numbers, switching devices or trying to complete transactions from disparate locations in short order — all in an effort to determine authentic use or fraudulent activity is underway.

As far as a physical roadmap, Danal had initially deployed in the U.S. across the four largest tier one service providers. “We started to see tremendous traction of the use cases,” he said, with account creation working in tandem with improved user experiences.

Fraud management and authentication offerings and use cases followed. The same service providers took Danal’s solutions into other geographies, among them Europe. Initial launches in Europe came through France, Spain and the U.K., and on the map now are Poland, Germany and Italy. “In each of these countries the regulations are much stricter than what we have in the U.S.,” he said.

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