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Facial Biometrics Protect Users, Help Companies

Samer Atassi - Jumio
Vice President Latin America and Caribbean


Sofía Hanna By Sofía Hanna | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 09/14/2022 - 10:17

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Q: The use of facial recognition as a security filter is growing significantly. Why is this more secure than other types of filters, such as fingerprint access?

A: Jumio aims to make the internet a safer place by helping the users open digital accounts and the companies that need to validate their identity. Before the pandemic, there were many ways in which people could open an account, but digitalization has accelerated and identity verification has become essential. Facial biometrics play a crucial role because other types of biometrics, such as fingerprint and voice recognition, are not as safe and efficient as they were before. Face-based biometrics adds a critical layer of protection against stolen identities and impersonation attacks.


Q: Why should a company consider facial recognition the optimal security mechanism and what makes Jumio the best choice for its implementation?

A: At Jumio, we have carried out more than 1 billion transactions in more than 200 countries and territories, including Latin America and Mexico. There are several biometric methods to validate identities. As a pioneer in the market, Jumio has vast experience in providing an end-to-end ecosystem from the moment a potential customer has to validate data. From this moment, we start to generate warnings if the email, for example, does not correspond with the phone number or if the IP address of a device does not align with the region. After generating these warnings, we validate identity documents. Jumio supports more than 5,000 identity documents from all over the world.


Facial biometrics can determine if a photo is of a human face or a mannequin, which is a common tool used by swindlers. Depending on the company, we can also prevent money laundering by monitoring those opening new accounts.


Q: Facial recognition has been criticized for biases and data privacy. How can companies create more inclusive and ethical technologies?

A: Jumio uses the latest AI technology models to increase identity verification accuracy in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Bias can creep into AI algorithms in several ways, and we are taking multiple steps to minimize the demographic bias in our algorithms. Our AI and machine learning programs have been nourished from over 1 billion transactions, and Jumio’s accuracy is nearly equal across

geographies, as the model is trained on well-distributed global Jumio data with different genders, ages and ethnicities. We’re also minimizing bias by working with real-world production data with real-life imperfections and not off-the-shelf databases. 


Q: Protecting and securing company data is key nowadays. How is Jumio addressing data protection?

A: We have a strong presence in the EU, which follows the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is the most important privacy law in the world and many governments have replicated and adapted it, so their citizens feel secure when opening an account. When opening a digital account, users have to upload information like IDs, addresses and dates of birth. Swindlers can steal that data, and many buy identities from the dark web. For this reason, it is important for users to demand strong identity validation and protection systems from the companies they share their data with. Customers have to ensure that the company guarantees privacy and that their personal information will not be shared. Jumio helps companies to ensure this through our security system.


Q: In Mexico, 80 percent of the population has a smartphone, which suggests great capacity for Jumio to grow. How open is the public to smartphone-based methods of recognition?

A: This large percentage helps to promote financial inclusion. Something similar has been observed in many emerging regions, where a high percentage of the population is not included in the financial ecosystem because they live in rural zones or because they cannot open an account in person.


In Mexico, 47 percent of people are willing to use a financial app and 67 percent demand that the app offers strong validation processes. In general, the Latin American population is willing to use a smartphone to open an account through an app.


Q: How does facial recognition relate to financial scams? How can having this filter detect suspicious activity?

A: Jumio validates what is behind the camera is a living person through the validation of pupil dilation, the reflection of light on the skin, depth, three-dimensionality and other aspects. The balance between security and user experience is important because the system should not be so complicated that the user abandons it. Companies do not strive to send scammers to jail but to convert real prospects into users and generate revenue.


Q: How is regulation aligned to the current face recognition technology and what opportunities do you see in this regard?

A: Regulation is different in every part of the world. In Mexico, data protection and user privacy regulations are becoming increasingly strict, which is beneficial because fintech and other financial entities are required to use a robust validation system. Regulation is not yet where it should be, but it is moving fast and adapting to current needs.


Q: How would you describe the future of digital identity and what is Jumio doing to be a part of it and shape it?

A: The digital identity concept is growing by leaps and bounds. Users are demanding a better experience, more speed and less friction. Jumio wants to ensure that users can operate with different systems within Jumio’s ecosystem through reusable digital identities. Plastic will disappear, as will identity documents as we know them today. The new generation does everything digitally and does not even want physical wallets anymore.


Jumio has long been the leader in online identity verification and is well positioned to become the leader in digital identity as well. In addition to developing functionality to enable our customers to verify digital identities from trusted sources, including eIDAS digital wallets, we are helping to drive the conversation about policy and standards.


We have the best AI, the best machine learning system and a large number of users validated globally and locally. We work with global companies and can validate citizens from all over the world with all kinds of demographics, faces and documents. Working with clients like HSBC gives us a large database to become more precise.


Jumio is also growing rapidly. Globally, we closed 2021 with 130 percent growth and in 2022, we closed 1Q22 with 140 percent growth. In Latin America, we grew by 300 percent between 2020 and 2021. With our advanced technology, deep expertise, global footprint and rapid growth, Jumio is the world leader and is making the internet a much safer place to do business.


Jumio’s mission is to make the internet a safer place by protecting the ecosystems of businesses through a unified, end-to-end identity verification, eKYC and AML platform. The Jumio platform offers a range of identity proofing and AML services to accurately establish, maintain and reassert trust from account opening to ongoing transaction monitoring.

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