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Face Recognition Will Replace IDs: Incode

Diego Creel - Incode
Head of Mexico


Sofía Hanna By Sofía Hanna | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 03/30/2022 - 10:35

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Q: What potential do facial biometrics have across different sectors?


A: Facial verification and identification have become the most secure ways to identify end users. It is more sophisticated than fingerprint technology, which is now aged, not user friendly with mobile devices or as precise as facial biometry. Facial recognition has become mainstream. Now, the most secure, friendly and fastest way to open a bank account or another service is facial recognition with a single selfie, as is the case with Incode. We are the first passive lightness recognized solution in the world. In this case, passive means that the end-user does not need to move their face as the solution is not user-intrusive. This solution also facilitates onboarding new customers and the experience is very user-friendly.


Q: How is Incode breaking the taboo of using facial recognition for security purposes?


A: Our solution is 100 percent commercial. We are not focused on recognition for security purposes. End-user always have to give their consent to the use of that information and biometrics for a product or service. This type of onboarding process democratizes access for the Mexican population because they do not need to visit a physical branch. There is also no risk during transport and no need to carry documents. The solution is starting to level the playing field. After using the system five to 10 times, clients become used to it.

Our clients also see many benefits. By using our service, banks, hospitals and retailers see reductions in costs and security issues, increased data privacy, more efficiency and other benefits. Many large enterprises have welcomed our solution, including fintechs, hospitals and even government, as the Chamber of Deputies uses our platform when casting a vote. We also ensure that our technology is 100 percent automated by AI for full data protection and privacy. We do not have any external support center with employees validating documents, identifications or IDs. Through our single platform, a company only needs to go to one provider.


Q: How can having fully automated services be a differentiator for companies and bring advantages to customers?


A: There are three main differences. First, the company is protected because no third party can access data from any individual. Second, fraud schemes have become so sophisticated and advanced that the human eye is not able to properly detect them. Finally, it is easier to scale up the solution if no humans are involved.


Q: Why would allowing an identity to be the key to multiple channels and accounts be the best option for a company’s operations?


A: Physical IDs are expected to disappear by 2030 as they are old-fashioned and do not have the same security as a digital ID. Replacing physical documents with a single physical identity will change the world. Mexico is spearheading this technology in many ways. For example, regulation allows people to verify their IDs and identities with INE. While people do not have access to the INE database, INE is able to give an immediate and automatic match in real time. Using facial identification as a password is frictionless, smooth and secure. As this trend becomes mainstream, our vision will become a reality in the short term.


Q: What factors are missing in Mexico to make this a day-to-day situation?


A: The approach is different for the private and public sectors. In the private sector, companies were spending between 2-5 percent of their revenue on technology-reading processes but now they are spending closer to 20 percent. Once we get to that level of private investment, the technology will allow these products and services to be provided digitally.

In the public sector, as the government begins to see the benefit of having universal access to these products and services, it will be more willing to adopt them and update the regulation.


Q: In what way has Incode helped scale businesses and their plans regarding digitalization?


A: The pandemic accelerated the digitalization of the bank industry, from allowing people to open simple bank accounts to more sophisticated services. Banks are digitally onboarding rapidly, which is allowing them to scale up, reduce costs and increase security. For example, a Latin American bank is setting up almost 80 percent of its new accounts digitally.

Startups and fintechs are the same. Most fintechs in the region are our clients and we are allowing them to scale up not only in Mexico but regionally. Our solution is global, so we are able to provide the proper components and the single platform that allows them to scale in Latin America and the world. One of our clients is close to launching the first hospital chain that will use our technology to allow doctors and patients to verify their identities using their face. So, for example, the hospital can view a patient’s identity, financial information and hospital history by just scanning their face, fast-tracking them to the surgery room. Thanks to that control, certainty and trust, we are seeing a lot of scaling in the sector.


Q: Now that the company recently received its “Unicorn” status, what is in store for Incode?


A: The investment is a large responsibility as the resources have to be used properly. We are going to focus on talent to attract the best in Mexico and the region. And we are investing in R&D to ensure that our technology continues to be the leader worldwide and that new components are able to provide the most secure, fastest and user-friendly service to our clients.


Q: How can the company contribute to the minimization of identity theft and what strategies have you implemented to raise awareness of this issue?


A: We try to be open to ensure that people understand this new technology and accept it because it is highly precise and secure. For example, just with facial recognition we are able to identify 99.8 percent of fraud, and with INE and other IDs the system becomes almost flawless. This is reducing fraud, making banks, retailers and other companies more aware of the benefits of this technology. The savings also reach the end-user, who might get a lower interest rate and more affordable credit because we are able to reduce fraud. As companies become more aware of the benefits, this leads to a virtuous cycle: the general population sees an increase in access and the ecosystem becomes more dynamic.

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