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How does it work

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fidentity provides digital identification with seamless user experience. An API enables integration in 3rd party websites, mobile sites, apps or even messengers. Its ease of use leads to minimal acquisition costs.

What does fidentity do

fidentity is a tool for digitally identifying consumers. To achieve this, fidentity has the user upload a selfie as well as pictures of an ID document. fidentity then analyses the content of the ID card (image, machine readable zone, other text elements) and validates the authenticity of the ID document. Thus fidentity provides automated certainty that the documents are authentic.

Why should a company use fidentity

Know your customer

The uses cases for gaining certainty about your end customers identity are numerous. Most obviously, any business that handles funds such as banks, card issuers, p2p lenders, bitcoin exchanges, gambling or leasing companies underly legal requirements to know their customers. The same is true for telco companies where issuing a SIM card may only happen after identification. In many other domains, such as insurance, personnel brokerage or car rental, it is good practice to identify the customer before entering into a business relationship.

Optimal user flow

Digital onboarding is the norm in many industries and quickly becoming it in others. Available solutions for identification, however, suffer from being very cumbersome for the user. Simply asking users to mail digital copies of their ID documents generates unpredictable results often requiring repeat interaction. Fully automated recognition solutions today require an app on the customers phone. An approach which struggles with high technical complexity, maintenance cost and low efficiency in scenarios where conversion is relevant. fidentity on the other hand is designed with a mobile web based userflow in mind. A user can be acquired through advertising for example and never has to leave the guided process, until identification is complete.

Seamless integration

Integration of digital identification into enterprise processes can be complex. Either extensive back office processes need to be adapted, or complex technical solutions need to be rolled out and maintained.

fidentity in contrast can be integrated via two simple options. The simplest way is redirecting the user to our user flow and letting him/her complete the user journey right on fidentity’s site. Alternatively, fidentity can be integrated into any user flow via a simple API. These methods of integration ensure minimal effort since you don’t need to understand the details of the recognition technology.

Full service

fidentity ensures 100% accuracy through manual review of results. Purely tech based approaches can currently not achieve recognition rates of 100%. This makes it necessary for you to review the results, creating extra processes you need to manage. With fidentity all this complexity is hidden behind our API.

What now?

Get in touch with us and let’s discuss your ID requirements!

A game theoretical look at fidentity

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Disclosing your identity is something people usually don’t do when they are online. The reason is that you can be burnt badly, if you do. Modeling this as a game shows how rational your behavior is and how it leads to a sub-optimal overall outcome:
Player 1 / Player 2
disclose
hide
disclose
10/10
-10/10
hide
10/-10
0/0
The best outcome for both of you is disclosing who you are. Both parties can now trust each other and transact. However, if one side choses to disclose and the other does not, the disclosing party might be burned badly by a fraudster hiding in anonymity. Due to this risk, both sides – even though they are legitimate almost always – chose to hide their identities, which leads to sub-optimal outcomes where transactions have to be carried out without trust.
Now look at using fidentity. We remove the risk of getting burned due do disclosure to a fraudster:
Player 1 / Player 2
fidentity
hide
fidentity
10/10
5/10
hide
10/5
0/0
Now the incentives are reversed. Instead of having a driving force of individual incentives which leads to the (0/0) outcome, now, using fidentity always is superior to not using it. Each individual can gain by proving to the other side that they are trusted individuals. This dynamic drives the interaction to the (10/10) outcome where both entities can transact in a trusted way without running the risk of getting burned.

Why link your online and offline identities?

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It’s a habit for most people to protect their privacy by preventing others to link „who I am“ and „what I do“. Since online, it is totally transparent and measurable „what I do“, I make sure that „who I am“ remains a mystery.
This is in contrast to typical behavior in the physical world, where it is pretty obvious “who I am” and I take care that people don’t know too much about „what I do“.
This behavior is perfectly normal and has nothing to do with „hiding“. It’s rather like wearing clothes. Something that makes everyday live just much more agreeable. And like everybody has the right to wear what they please, everybody should have the right to be as open or secretive as they wish to be.
In the „good old times“, privacy of „what I do“ was not an issue one had to think about. The cost of gathering a lot of data about a person was prohibitive and guaranteed a basic level of privacy. The veil was only pierced selectively, for example by credit bureaus to track payment behavior across vendors and shipping addresses.
Online the situation is vastly different. Every company gathers data about what you do. Companies track your list of friends, the websites you are visiting, the calls you are making, where you stay during the night, how long you commute, what you buy and basically everything you do. This data gives companies a very clear picture of what you did and what you will probably do.
Since we know that we are being tracked with respect to „what we do“ all over the Internet, we don’t want to allow anybody to make the connection to „who we are“.
This is the place where fidentity fits into the picture. Sometimes „who I am“ is important because it is a significant trust anchor. When you know “who I am“, you can verify important statements I make about myself or use the legal system to enforce an agreement. Both aspects are important trust builders in a new relationship. This is relevant when you make a financial transaction, when you make a purchase or when you make a significant legal transaction.
But this simple „who I am“ logic is too crude for the Internet. Rather there are many aspects of „who I am“ which have an independent meaning. When I want to buy liquor, it’s enough to know that I am old enough to make the purchase. When you want to know whether I am human, it is enough to verify that fact. You don’t need to see my ID card and learn my name and address.
fidentity is here to give everybody the power to selectively disclose relevant aspects of „who you are“ to others.

Our mission: Link online and offline identities in perfect privacy!

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Trust is an essential part of our life. Without trust, simple things like even a conversation become impossible.

In the physical world, we have come up with means to build trust or get around the trust issue: We use cash so that we only have to trust the state and not each other in value exchanges. We have state issued ID cards to prove who we are, so that border control does not need to trust us but the ID document. In the background data aggregators and credit bureaus track how we pay our bills and create registries of our trustworthiness at the cost of annihilating our privacy.

This system works reasonably well when we transact in the physical world (as citizens of  a developed country). It largely fails in the online world.

Online, you cannot even make a purchase without a credit card where the merchant trusts the card issuer and on social media, you never know whether you are talking to a sincere person, a crook or a robot, when you are interacting with another virtual identity.

It is fair to say, that something is seriously wrong with our identity systems which excludes so many people and is not fit for online use, which – in the long term – will be the only relevant use case.

At the same time, modern cryptography has provided us with tools that allow us to create perfect digital identities which can perfectly identify and authorize anybody while guarding their privacy.

The reason for this paradoxical situation – perfect technology but no actual trust – is that it is very hard to link a digital identity to a physical identity. It is very hard to transfer credibility from your physical identity to an online identity of your choice.

For example, it is largely impossible to prove that a social media profile or your email (which you use as the anchor for all your other profiles) belongs to a real person. As a result, it is impossible to open a bank account with just an email address and you never know whether an individual or a a robot controls a social media account. Banks typically even have you visit their offices and check your physical ID against your physical self before they provide a digital identity to you, which you can then use to do your banking.

fidentity’s mission is to make it easy to link the online and the offline world in a privacy preserving way. Our product checks who you are in the real or legal sense. Once we have established that you do exist and who you are, you can let fidentity selectively confirm claims you are making about yourself.

For example, think about your social media account. Let’s assume that you want to prove that you are using your true name and your profile picture actually shows you. fidentity will check your ID documents and compare it to your profile and provide an attestation that the two match. You can share a link where others can verify that your profile matches your legal identity. However, nobody will be able to find out your age or anything else you don’t want to share in this context.

We believe that fidentity is the missing piece to make the online identity jigsaw complete. Giving consumers the power to control who knows what about their real identity and selectively tying this information to different digital identities will enable consumers to perform more important transactions in the digital realm.