In payments, as in so many areas of business, capital is oxygen, and it is also a vote of confidence from those putting up the funds. As of Tuesday morning (March 7), after closing a new round of funding, ID.me can breathe freely.
The firm just secured a $19 million Series B investment led by FTV Capital. ID.me said that it would use the funds for investment in its sales and marketing activities and in product development.
In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Blake Hall, founder and CEO of ID.me, said the firm is getting traction among various verticals, with Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) through its Identity Gateway providing, to date, to 200 organizations. The roster includes Veteran’s Affairs, the largest integrated health care system in the United States, which he termed “obviously, a huge account to win,” along with presence within other agencies, such as the IRS, NASA, and a number of state and local governments.
“We don’t think that advertising companies like Facebook and Google should control your digital identity, which is what they do today, and we are replacing those identity providers with a user-centric solution that has privacy and security controls that are mandated by the federal government…and we are helping people have agency over their own personal data,” the CEO told PYMNTS.
The overarching vision is to have one login in order to open up a bank account, access government benefits and apply for licenses, among other activities. The firm’s Identity Gateway helps ascertain identity by checking official documents issued by the government with mobile network operator data and against several databases.
In reference to payments, Hall noted that “there is a ton of data out there” that shows that false declines, where legitimate customers get turned down, can cost firms billions of dollars annually. And against that backdrop, he said, ID.me remains one of the few companies that meets the federal standards to issue legal identification in the form of a digital address, “which can be as useful as your driver’s license is in the physical world.”
That can help with digital data breaches, where he noted that past compromises in the public and private sectors happened “because an administrator had a digital login and a one-factor authentication that was breached” — a scenario that reflects breaches that have happened at other government agencies and elsewhere.
The login breaches happen, in part, because of the limitations of human activity. As Hall noted, the average person on a workaday basis has 100 different points of login activity and simply can’t provide passwords and other security measures that are as robust as might be demanded amid cyberthreats — “unless you are a supercomputer, that is clearly not possible,” he said.
What ID.me is doing, he said, is letting people pick the identity provider of their choice and then allowing them to use that ID across all websites. Once you have standards in place, the executive summarized, you can have comparability between different credentials and processes; and once you have comparability, you can have interoperability, promoted by networks.