Mitek Acquires ID R&D To Fight Identity Fraud

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Digital identity verification company Mitek announced Tuesday (June 1) it has acquired ID R&D, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice and face biometrics and liveness detection firm, a move it says will help curtail the growing threat of identity fraud.

As part of the deal, ID R&D shareholders will be entitled to up to $49 million in Mitek stock and cash as consideration.

“ID R&D’s pioneering facial and voice biometric capabilities provide increased protection against today’s most sophisticated identity theft and increasingly dangerous fraud techniques, such as deepfakes and synthetic voice augmentation,” Mitek said in a Tuesday (June 1) news release. “These technologies ensure the highest level of security against evolving threats and deliver an imperceptible consumer experience.”

Deepfake and other identity and augmenting technology pose a major threat to consumers, Mitek said, pointing to research from Gartner showing 20 percent of all account takeover attacks will employ these tools in the next two years.

“Getting digital identity right, and doing it the right way, has far-reaching consequences,” CEO Max Carnecchia told PYMNTS recently.

To counter this threat, the identity verification market is expected to hit $15.8 billion by 2025.

“ID R&D’s multi-modal approach to identity authentication directly addresses these threats by combining passive facial liveness and voice anti-spoofing technologies, accurately identifying even advanced AI-based deceptions to ensure each transaction is completed by a real person,” per the news release.

With the program, when someone opens a new account remotely or needs to verify their identity for a high-value transaction, they must provide credentials and a biometric to confirm who they are. “The customer is initially verified through identity proofing which combines a digital copy of an identity document and taking a selfie,” Mitek explains. “Liveness detection ensures the user is present, not a spoof. Later the same person can use biometrics to securely and easily authenticate when logging in or to reverify their identity.”

Mitek VP Sanjay Gupta discussed the rise of device biometrics in a PYMNTS interview last fall, explaining how in the digital realm, the way people hold devices, the speed at which they type, the location of the devices and more can serve as “signals” to legitimize an individual’s identity and their transactions.