Jumio launches video selfie authentication for smartphones

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The quest to implement a broadly accepted digital ID solution may take years, but Jumio is hoping to get headway with a new authentication service leveraging video selfies.

Jumio Authentication uses an individual’s smartphone camera to capture hundreds of facial images in a few seconds, enabling financial institutions and businesses to establish an online user’s identity and reconfirm it quickly for subsequent access, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company announced Tuesday.

The process is ideal for account logins and authenticating users for high-value online transactions and wire transfers, as well as unlocking hotel and rental-car doors and verifying the identities of ride-share drivers, Jumio said.

The service uses three-dimensional face ID technology, developed in conjunction with Las Vegas-based FaceTec, to create a face map with a few-seconds-long smartphone video containing hundreds more embedded images than regular photos, said Dean Nicholls, Jumio’s vice president of marketing.

The video approach is more secure than two-dimensional photos, which are increasingly vulnerable to fraudsters spoofing victims with masks and photos, according to Nicholls.

Jumio Authentication builds on Jumio’s existing Netverify digital identification service, which works in combination with a government ID to verify the identities of customers enrolling in a service. The two services work together to solve the digital ID problem for a broader array of organizations and use cases, according to Nicholls.

With Jumio Authentication, an online user first takes a photo of their government-issued ID, then takes a video selfie, which Jumio instantly analyzes via artificial intelligence to ensure it’s a live human that matches the government ID. Next time the user needs account access or to make a high-risk transaction, the user takes another video selfie which Jumio compares to the original within seconds for authentication.

“People are getting more comfortable with the idea that you can unlock your phone with your face, and the notion of taking a selfie to open an account or approve a transaction is being well-received,” he said.

Jumio is in discussions with several digital-only banks.

“Traditional banks tend to be slower to adopt new technology, and we’re seeing a lot of interest in startup and challenger banks, along with a car rental company,” Nicholls said.

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Identity verification Cyber security Mobile banking Mobile payments