On August 27, iDenfy celebrates its fourth birthday. In human years we are but a toddler, yet the development of our organization mirrors the growth of hard-working and responsible adults engaged in the company. I, CEO of iDenfy Domantas Ciulde, wish to look back and share our journey as well as project into the future!
The Birth of iDenfy
Innovations usually begin as a solution to a problem rather than the technology itself. The story of iDenfy is no exception. Several years ago, I was working as a general manager of a UK-based company, offering internet security services: protection against DDOS attacks, cybernetic break-ins, and data leaks. We performed security analyses of various companies and aimed to make sure the servers had no flaws that the cybercriminals could exploit to break in. However, this problem was not as relevant as illicit transactions using stolen credit cards.
For this reason, my friends and I, in 2015, came up with a solution to fight those who were using stolen credit cards to commit fraud. After spending hours reading various studies, we concluded that the best way to stop the fraudsters in their tracks was a reliable identity verification system.
Studying computer vision and machine learning has led us to design an identity verification prototype. It was rather primitive at the time and could only recognize one country’s – Lithuania’s – passports. Still, it had helped us secure an investment, which was crucial for upgrading the system and entering a growing marketplace. It also proved vital for our investors to become our first clients.
The Scope of the Issue
Fake documents and stolen identities remain a headache for a lot of organizations worldwide. France was and still remains the country where fake ID documents mostly originate, followed by Portugal, Nigeria, Spain, and Great Britain. Even though fraudsters operate in over 50 countries, these five are the origin country of more than half of fake IDs. It was obvious that our product needed to expand and improve to reach as many countries and companies residing in them as possible.
The Marketplace as It as
Back in 2017, the representatives of the largest identity verification companies relied on automated systems only. Our research showed that it was not enough for the product to ensure a 100% success rate in verification security. That, in turn, led us to aim for the process to be supervised by a trained professional. It became the core of our product and remains such to this day.
We are proud of this solution, for our clients’ success and security are of crucial importance to us. It is at the core of our decision to charge a fee only for successful identifications, in contrast to other competitors in the market, charging for every identity verification. Up to 40 percent of confirmed identity verifications are done using fake identities, lost or tampered documents. For this reason, our solution is both time and fund-consuming to us. Still, we believe in our vision and in what we do to realize it.
The Evolving Market and iDenfy’s Place in It
The tendency of stolen identities continued throughout the years, with COVID-19 making a huge impact on its growth. The rising unemployment and an ever-growing number of companies seeking to transit to online platforms led to the fraudsters becoming more devious in their attempts to engage with the black market. With their numbers rising, the scope and number of companies fighting them grew as well – In 2017, identity verification market revenue was at $4,93 billion, rising to $7 billion in 2020. There’s no reason to believe that the trend won’t continue, and it is estimated that the revenue will grow to be over $18 billion in 2027.
New and developing companies began their search for novel ways to adapt to each and every business model. In addition to identity verification, they sought to offer adjacent measures assuring the security of their clients. And so iDenfy had to evolve as well.
Our priority – the clients – never changed in the process. It was at the core of our decision to funnel all of the investments we received to improve our product in the following years rather than market it. It was only in 2019 that we finally built a marketing department. Regardless, we are proud of the progress we’ve made since 2017 – the improvements to the UI & UX systems have allowed us to develop a better partner-client experience using our service and make the visuals much more esthetically pleasing. We also noticed that identity verification was no longer as effective due to the fraudsters becoming more devious. It led us to invest in the development of new services, such as the assessment of the risk of the client.
The Future of iDenfy
The goal of iDenfy is to make the web a safer place by protecting the companies and their clients from malicious people, seeking to bypass all of the protective measurements. The number of fraudsters is rising by the minute. Thus, our goal is always to remain one step ahead of them.
In the future, we plan to develop new products and services to help in the fight against fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing.
I do not doubt that the rate of technological development will lead to the further digitization of the world. This leads me to believe that 10 to 20 years from now, a portion of the population will have digitized identities, controlled only by themselves. The users of such a service will have the privacy and comfort they desire and have quick access to various services and products. Businesses, in return, will have greater access to their clients.
However, the comfortability of both the businesses and their clients will always result from a safe and secure medium in which they can exist. More often than not, innovations bring new dangers and challenges, and iDenfy will always strive to provide services to the issues unfolding in the process.