A U.K. fund set up to foster competition in the banking sector has given $6.6 million to facial recognition firm Onfido "to invest in the development of biometric fraud detection, data anonymization and document fraud prevention technologies," the entities announced in a news release on Tuesday (Aug. 18).
Onfido said the funding from Banking Competition Remedies "will enable Onfido to invest in the development of biometric fraud detection, data anonymization and document fraud prevention technologies."
Banking Competition Remedies said in a prepared statement that nearly 100 organizations applied for grants and six were awarded a total of $26.5.
Husayn Kassai, CEO and co-founder of Onfido, said in a prepared statement: “We pride ourselves on leading discovery and innovation of artificial intelligence technologies applied to identity verification, and are honored to receive the grant to further invest in the technologies that are creating a more open and inclusive online world. We view this as a critical issue as we enter a more digitized era where an individual’s identity is the key to access."
Onfido says it provides its clients, including Zipcar, with a product that enables them to remotely verify a potential customer's identity.
The company, which was founded by three graduates of Oxford University, has offices in England and Silicon Valley.
While technological advancements in facial recognition have been embraced in some quarters, fierce opposition has emerged in the political world as well as among private-sector organizations due to privacy concerns. The issue made it into the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary, when Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would ban the technology's use if elected.