What does the future hold for biometric identity verification platforms? Tune into this week’s State of Identity podcast to hear host Cameron D’Ambrosi and Julen Remesar, Head of Sales at Alice Biometrics discuss the pathway forward for a field that continues to evolve in the face of shifting regulations, platform demands, and new technologies.
Cameron D'Ambrosi, Managing Director at Liminal
Julen Remesar, Head of Sales at Alice Biometrics
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:00:04] Welcome to State of Identity. I’m your host, Cameron Ambrosi. Joining me this week is Julen Remesar, Head of Sales for Alice Biometrics. Julien, welcome to State of Identity.
Julen Remesar [00:00:16] Many thanks government for bringing me over. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve been hearing a lot of your episodes and I’m delighted to share my insights and my thoughts about the market here today. So yeah, I am pretty astonished of the work you’re doing and with a lot of interest in, in, in any, you know, more about what we do and how I see the future of.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:00:39] Fantastic. Well, you know, as I like to say, flattery will get you everywhere. So thank you for those kind words and I really appreciate it. But, you know, as host, I really feel this the strength of the podcast is is inherently in the guests and and folks like yourself who make the time to talk to us and and share their knowledge with our audience. So thank you on behalf of all of our listeners. And and let’s dove into it. You know, it’s a a relatively crowded space in the field of biometrics. I think there’s a lot of platforms out there to some degree, a lot of confusion around, you know, who is doing what, who has their own technology. And I think a challenge from buyers to really understand, you know, what am I buying and what do I really need? So right off the top, you know, Alice biometrics, why are you different and how have you differentiated your value proposition from some of your peers in the biometric space, in your opinion?
Julen Remesar [00:01:36] Mm hmm. I mean, I believe as we are facing a very innovative and brand new vertical as the geese, and I think there’s a lot of confusion, as you have mentioned, of what who makes what and which is the added value and how we bring the true added value to the customers. And there’s there’s a lot of, I would say, nonsense on that side. So I mean, there are many different sources or questions for foundation of companies and that is is I would say or one of. Alex comes from a background of a research and development within a technological center that was meant to develop technology for the for the comparison is being written with cyber security at one of the branches or one of the main departments in that in that research center was a biometrics cybersecurity and spoofing detection. So we grew as late and 20020/10 building technology for the last 15 years in order to licenses denied to third parties, which were aiming to have some kind of facial recognition and spoofing detection system. So our background was really to develop this technology and just focus on state of the art tech and building that team of capabilities. After sometime being in the market, unless using this technology, we found out that the customers were not able to to translate all the developments that we were making to the market. And we were not able to see all the feedback that we or these customers were receiving from final users. So we decided by 2017 to, well, to consider the option of establishing an independent company that just was focused on on spreading this technology and building up into an approach that our customers could integrate and could use all the capacity that we had by today. It took us a little bit longer than expected. So we founded the company a couple of years later in 2009 when we created this platform that we have today. Well, I believe that Alice is excited differential or quite a bit differential based on the way we have approach it, identity verification or radical environment. Most of our colleagues in the market have evolved from a manual verification system in which well, through videoconferences or a or capturing and a synchronous verification and verified of users, but mostly based on manual checks and minor operations, then developing technology in order to automate or automate that, that process as it was built the other way around. We had the technology and we wanted to build from the scratch a platform based on the technology that we could develop, focusing on a 100% automatic, 100% technology based solution aimed to make this onboarding as easy for the user and secure for the customer as feasible without harming the friction, I mean, the conversion rate and not increasing the friction of the importing process. So based on that foundation, on the principles of the company, we believe that there are not many companies in in the same, I would say, audio region of of the of the aim of the sector. We have some companies that we really feel a need to come also from university backgrounds, from tech development backgrounds. But most of our colleagues come from up market need. So we try to say or we said to our customers that we are not a selling guy or sales department with a without technology rather than a group of guys developing technology for our customers.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:05:26] Fantastic. And in terms of modalities, you know, a lot of different biometrics floating around, whether it’s on the user, an entity behavior analytics side, whether it’s finger, whether it’s face, you know, what modality are you feeling the strongest about these days and where are you seeing the strongest demand, you know, from your end customers and what they feel their users are the most comfortable using currently and feeling offers them that right balance of, again, user friction, you know, comfort around sharing your biometrics as well as the ability to get, you know, as high of or rather as as high of a false. No low level false negative rate is possible, I should say.
Julen Remesar [00:06:13] Well, the key is to tackle the aim each problem our customers have with the proper technology. So I truly believe, Boyce, and biometrics is a very good solution whenever you have that customer support a phone line. So you have plenty of customers calling going straight, they need some backup. And in the middle of nowhere I had to make a break down on my car or whatever. And for ID it’s is really a good benefit. The boys biometrics fingerprint is very a I would say convenient whenever you you need on premises access control system because you just touch takes really milliseconds and you go really really fast and you need to deploy it in a specific cloud system or a very complicated I.D. system. But when we are speaking about identity verification, I rather see that face. Biometrics is the critical one because face is something that you always carry with you that you do not depend on on on any device to capture read on a it is registered of an official register in all the public databases and in a identity document that is able to record that face not only in a name image but also in a, I will say, the ID document. So whatever you are or we are speaking about identity verification, it’s clear for me that face is is the key. On the other side, whenever we go to the market, the largest, the company, we are seeing that they are requiring more and more biometrics in order to capture all the added value. So, of course, it is a strength to have more than one biometric because you cannot I mean, you can also bring those cases of use into your into your. But for Mickey’s guys having faith and then building all the infrastructure around it.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:08:11] I think that infrastructure is of intense interest to the industry and with the changing, you know, regulatory landscape and with whether it’s data localization, whether it’s data privacy laws, you know, have you anchored on preferring, you know, on prem versus cloud versus on device matching? You know, what are your thoughts there? What are your customers wanting? And and where do you feel the future of the industry is heading? You know, do you think it is about localized cloud? Do you think it’s about on device, on prem, a hybrid approach depending on the application? You know, what are you hearing and where do you think that trend line is pushing across the industry?
Julen Remesar [00:08:54] Yeah, I would say that it’s a critical moment for for for analyzing that future. I see a lot of trends and there’s a lot of people defending each of those. In the coming years. We will find out what happens. Of course, when we first started the company, we come from an on premises distribution in which we built some some Dockers that we did with our customers. And then in order to give best performance, best a continuous improvement, in order to have better understanding of what happened with the final user, in order to understand better with how our customers were integrating their the system, we changed into a SAS based, cloud based platform. So we are able to feel real time what our customers are doing and what is happening with them. And so for me, the future as identity verification, at least for Alice, it would be a cloud based system. Other story, if we mention how identity is going to be managed after an onboarding is being done. And that’s where all the very interesting topic of i.t. What it’s private and public is coming on top of the table and it’s clear that something is going to change that and will change there. Well, I have my my my vision that we will mostly like will mostly go into decentralized sense of a identities. The key for me is who is going to rule those kind of identities? Is it going to be the party sector? Is it going to be the private sector? Are they large a consumer, customers or consumers of those identities? Are they willing to share that information with their competitors? In Spain, for example, there have been some some, some testing, some, some, some, some tries to have this kind of ideas. And they were not succeeding because customers didn’t want to share the cost of acquisition or they didn’t want to share the information with other competitors in in exchange of, of course, security features and anti-fraud measures. But they were rather likely to have their own identity verification, and that’s why they chose ideas, so they could build their own identity verification authentication platform by themselves. But on the other side, we have a lot of customers all having in mind that, okay, what would happen if I share this identity? What would happen if I, for example, some mobility operators? What happens if I put together all the information that each of us has about every user, about their behavior, about their their I would say great score about how do they pay, how do they park, for example? And even though we I mean, we we don’t mention that it’s something that we be reminding our customers also be remind. And they think whoever thinks into the future, they see the kind of identities in common. Yeah. I mean, from the technical perspective, it’s also a challenge to define if is going to be around and the certificate is going to be around blockchain. Well, I mean, there’s a lot of noise in the market. There’s a lot of public investment on this with the EU regulation around to 2.0 billion. This kind of detail and this is going to be deployed in every service that the public organismes it give to the final users. Well, there’s a lot of questions on top of the table, and I’m not so arrogant to tell you what will happen, but I think what it’s but mostly most likely private wallets we will appear in. But my question is, will we have several wallets or will we be able to have just one? I guess we will have one for the financial institutions and or already established financial institutions will have another one for the fintechs or fintech related companies, another one for utility companies. That’s what I see in the near term.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:13:16] And I think you raise a great point with ideas and write these prognostications around, you know, what this future of identity is going to mean as consumers kind of are able to get source, source verified credentials kind of in their hands in some form, whether it’s one wallet, whether it’s multiple wallets. I think, you know, the big question for me is what role are biometrics players like Alice going to play in that landscape? And I think, you know, the assumption that volumes are going to go down and that, you know, biometrics capabilities are not needed by any platforms if these credentials end up in the hands of users, not necessarily the case in thinking about where the pressure points are going to be placed. I think account recovery and making sure, you know, someone has a trusted, verifiable credential in their hand. But for an individual platform, what level of trust can I assign that credential? I think biometrics is is still going to play a role there, as well as liveness detection. You know, how do you see this shaping out? And, you know, would you consider liveness detection capabilities to be one of the strengths of the Alice platform?
Julen Remesar [00:14:31] Yes, indeed. I mean, overall, I would say that companies are getting more into details on what happens in the digital world. And I would say that they will start to play in the never trust, always verify policy in which passwords are a complete nightmare. And most of the companies will aim to have a password this better, less journey. And for sure, identity verification will play a major role there and not as onboarding, but yes, as a authentication in the identity verification space. So most likely, whenever this is a scam, whatever happens with it, what I see is that in places like Alice, we would have a major role in in those wallets as they wait to create that wouldn’t you know, it would be demeaning for the final user to create that specific wallet and will help them not only or create that user or that particular user’s I.D. wallet, but also real authenticate periodically to create whatever details a trust or data ledger comes behind and to be able to really define that user for political processes. Because at the end, whenever you create an network independent or really we will most likely depend on a third party hardware containing that wallet. So even I mean, each of those players would like to re verify the user in in multiple times and in multiple locations. Our approach through liveness is to like this is slightly different. We have always believed that likeness is something that we have to measure. We never single onboarding or risk investigation, but it shouldn’t be a friction point. And so the way that we we have developed our likeness algorithm is mostly focus on passive so anyone can perform the task this parties. And in any place you mean that you are able to perform a liveness check in in the street, at home, in your bed in a metro station in a metro. It is a tap itself. So and other competitors solutions are not able to do the same with active blackness. So also from the point of view of accessibility on third date or in their understanding or in including everyone in to these kind of technologies, we understand and we see that liveness, passive blindness is a huge difference. So anyone can can perform that not only depending on where he’s or is or their device, but also in any condition on any person can perform.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:17:22] I love that. And I think right liveness is so, so critical in these applications in the sense that I think that the threats to the ecosystem with verifiable credentials are going to center around different vectors, you know, injection style attacks to perhaps try and claim someone’s verifiable credential before they can maybe lock it down and and liveness. I think more than any other technology is really going to play a critical role in, you know, securing consumer trust and ecosystem trust around this next set of credentials. In that same vein, in thinking about applications and and the the market segments where you are seeing maybe a new type of demand, obviously, you know, I think Biomet. Ericsson, in large part, has been previously deployed for the highest level assurance use cases, you know, regulated use cases, things like financial services, money remittance. But I think we’re continuing to see digital identity make inroads into these low to medium assurance use cases that previously were, I think, underpenetrated. Is that something you’re seeing on on your end as well in terms of new verticals and and new types of customers coming to you, considering deploying biometrics in their stack?
Julen Remesar [00:18:48] Yeah, I mean, the cases of use are limitless. I would say that identity verification, aliveness, face recognition are arriving to verticals that have never thought before or have been never thought before. We work with social media companies. We work with issue companies, insurance companies. We work with mobility operators, rental cars, hotels, I mean, you name it. And most of them are way to know better. They use it with less friction. So anytime you have a company and you have a final customer and you need to know something about that, use that that final user. You need a platform like that. Know alcohol sales through the Internet, of course born tobacco purchases. I mean, all of those industries will have some kind of identity verification. It could be a complete one as they might are having or at sure one or like one in which to just to check the document or just to sell for you or whatever. But that for sure is coming. And believe it or not, we are also seeing, I would say, physical world companies for physical world with companies also willing to have A levels, not only A or I would say that us in every aspect or even access control management is getting the dice and people want to make that machine based an automatic. We are having some customer also in the physical space and they want to apply like this to like a critical facility control management or a yeah, the gym for example. I mean whenever there’s no one at the reception and he said night or whatever you can have like missing or to avoid impersonations there. So what I’m trying to tell you is that sometimes we relate identity verification with detail, space or line work, but it’s also used in the physical world. And we are having more and more physical aces like hotel games or digital or I mean physical work force, for example, sales responsible start visiting customers and they want to register them physically are deploying our systems. So I mean once again, not only in digital world but also in the physical and on the physical, the cases of use are are limitless. We have every day we have a new case that we want to study.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:21:15] Fantastic. And for folks who are listening and want to get in touch to understand, you know, how they might deploy biometrics into their stack and how they can make, you know, whether it’s liveness detection capabilities or other enhancements to their platform without send them into a high friction flow. What’s the best place for them to to go to learn more about Allison and who should they reach out to?
Julen Remesar [00:21:38] Yeah, I mean, we have a website and we understand that we’re saying we believe that website should be that first approach first. That’s what we tell it in which we publish what we do, how we do it, what cases of use and success cases so they can understand more how well works. Well, we have a direct phone number to reach us and an email box that they can send an inquiry or any question that they may have. And we are happy to assist. Most of our customers come from an inbound model or an email source so eager to to hear from them.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:22:12] Fantastic. Before we wrap here, I do always love to folk have folks make some some crystal ball predictions, dust off their their wizard hat and and make some prognostications, you know, what do you see as the biggest trend that we maybe haven’t discussed that’s coming down the pike in the broader biometrics industry? Any markers that you want to lay down for our audience here in thinking about what we can expect to see over the next couple of years?
Julen Remesar [00:22:42] Well, for me, I would be that I am there will be many, many attempts to create these digital wallets. I would say that big companies will try to gather these all these use of value, not only in the private sector, but also in the public. We have seen with ADAS, but we have also been working with some, I would say, local institutions in order to build some kind of just for entity identity. And I would say that those wallets we aggregate all those biometrics, not only. Boys will face a lot of support and fingerprints. And that’s something that we really see coming in the short term. In the short term, and we make a difference.
Cameron D’Ambrosi [00:23:27] I love it. Look, I think we’re set to really have one of the more transformative. Several years in the space over the next 1 to 2 years, again, with, you know, continuing legislative efforts, continuing regulatory pushes. And then, you know, whether it’s in the U.S. with the adoption of, you know, mobile driver’s license, whether it’s I’d ask to point out in the EU whether it’s digital identity initiatives underway in in various African or Latin American markets. A lot of excitement, a lot of embrace of these technologies and I think fundamental shifts in in how they’re deployed. So certainly looking forward to having you on again to to discuss these trends sometime soon. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. And we will hopefully talk to you again soon.
Julen Remesar [00:24:17] Many thanks for having me. And eager to come back again.
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