There’s an old saying in politics and journalism which gets right to the heart of deal making and fact gathering.
“Trust, but verify.”
In payments, that saying could be stood a bit on its head: “Verify, then trust.”
And when it comes to B2B transactions, verification becomes especially important with far flung transactions conducted by far flung entities.
Earlier this month came news that B2B auction platform Saltrex has chosen Jumio’s Netverify platform to be used in customer verification efforts, with an eye on compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, to be set once Saltrex launches the platform. The companies have said that Netverify is in place via beta testing.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Robert Prigge, CRO of Jumio, stated that the agreement showed the continued evolution of “identity as a service” in B2C but also in B2B — where companies not only know who is on the other end of a transaction but also who can be trusted.
The executive stated that the process is based on technology that reads documents — in this case, government-issued IDs that are, in turn, measured against selfies. With the aid of facial recognition and with users following prompts on a connected smart device, said Prigge, Jumio compares the photo in the ID and the selfie and determines a match. The companies have said that the technology can detect “even the slightest facial movement,” to ascertain the validity of the selfie and the match with the document. Noted Prigge, the act of taking a selfie “itself can be a huge deterrent to a fraudster.”
The usefulness of identity verification, said Prigge, is especially helpful in a B2B setting, where the flow of goods and services, and not to mention payments, needs a certain level of trust, especially across borders. With transaction sizes at thousands of dollars or more, significant sums are at stake in B2B, in real time.
In the case of identity verification, continued Prigge, where IDs accepted and issued by governments can vary, “you want an answer, but it has to be the right answer.” He noted that such verification efforts can help smaller firms, as it usually costs time, money and human effort to staff up fully to meet KYC and AML mandates, especially onerous given the ID range just mentioned. (Prigge stated that Jumio works at present with 12 types of IDs, and many of them, such as Visas, are updated frequently, some as often as annually.)
Technology can also be a factor in cross-border and identity verification, as in some nations, or at some businesses, said Prigge, webcams may be a method of taking selfies, one that may be less than optimal but which still can be deployed in verification efforts. He noted that in B2B transactions (as has been seen with consumer-centric transactions), the initial opening of an account may be done through more traditional online methods.