Rebuilding Document Authentication For A Faster-Paced Planet

Technology tends come with much advanced promotion — for the good reason that the more novel an idea, the more time needs to be spent building excitement for something that is, at base, unknown. Yet, of course, once excitement has been built, the challenge is matching the experience with the expectations. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it does not, depending on the product itself.

However, in the case of visual and image-based authentication processes, Trulioo Chief Operating Officer Zac Cohen told PYMNTS, the emerging picture is a bit cloudier. This technology has generated a hype cycle in terms of how it would change the game in securing data and locking out the fraudster.

“What the last few years have crystalized for us — as a network of networks, and seeing how networks are operating together — is how well this technology has succeeded in some areas, and how, in others, it needs further improvements to be really effective,” Cohen said.

The push to make those improvements, Cohen noted, is what drove Trulioo to add new features to the capability it is officially announcing today (Feb. 18) for its marketplace of identity and data services, Trulioo GlobalGateway. The new capability consists of an image-capture software development kit (SDK) with designated bidirectional, desktop-to-mobile workflows, offering a more flexible, holistic approach to identity verification.

Building Scale At Speed 

What Trulioo offers its clients, Cohen said, is an application programming interface (API)-based single point of connection that allows them to rapidly import, adapt and adjust their offerings — depending on the contexts in which they operate, and the markets into which they are looking to expand.

Onboarding processes, as well as identity verification and authentication processes, are not homogenous vertical to vertical or region to region, he noted. That means business end users aren’t just looking for access to a suite of services, but flexible access that is customizable to context, workflow and risk appetite.

“What is interesting about all of this technology from region to region, and what is always so surprising, is the variance,” he said. “In North America, something that is very simple and straightforward [could be], in a developing market, something that is exponentially more complex — even if, on the surface, the user experience seems the same.”

An API-based endpoint and an experienced partner mean that firms don’t have to continually rebuild their own technology offerings every time they want to expand, particularly in an arena where the margin for error is extremely narrow, and the pressures come from both sides.

On the one hand, there is the omnipresent risk of fraudsters who are constantly attacking and probing for weaknesses and holes in systems to exploit for gain. On the other side, there are regulatory pressures and extremely specific rules in context for all the layers or types of verification that must be in place. Accidentally not complying due to lack of awareness, Cohen said, can be an extremely costly error for firms.

The SDK functionality Trulioo recently added also involves optimization of its service offerings with configurable workflows that include a variety of settings and contexts, he said, so firms can personalize workflows without having to go back and “rewrite their base code.”

“Businesses want to do what they are in business to do. So, the goal for serving them in this area is to take the stress away from them in the form of a fully customizable platform that you can work with them to optimize,” Cohen said.

The Unexpected Side Of Optimization 

Some of the changes in the market are obvious, and need to be designed around. Take, for example, the rise of mobile as a tool in onboarding and verification. Mobile didn’t replace the desktop in these tasks so much as it settled into a back-and-forth relationship with it. That functionality was an obvious add to the platform.

However, other things are less easy to spot because they are far less intuitive. That is evident by the fact that, among a rising demographic of customers, the appetite for friction is increasing rather than decreasing.

“What we are seeing is that, while users want to preserve processes that are as quick and as painless as possible at onboarding, there is a certain level of friction they actually want to satisfy and answer some of the more important questions about security and privacy,” Cohen said.

Solutions must be able to account for concerns around how data is processed, used, stored and kept — and balance that need to secure certainty with a desire for essentially easy authentication processes.

The solutions Trulioo is rolling out today are designed to allow its customers to take advantage of its learnings in the space — which, at this point, are vast. However, he noted, part of the challenge of building solutions that work in every context, or that can be customized to do so, is that they can be future-proof. That means, in some sense, that they are always under development.

“We want to be able to fill the gaps in the market with the right tools,” he said. “And if we don’t have it, then we’re going to build it.”



Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.

Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.