Vasco buys digital ID company, changes name to OneSpan

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Vasco, a provider of authentication technology to 2,000 banks worldwide, has paid about $55 million to buy a U.K. company called Dealflo that automates identity verification and speeds up digital account onboarding.

At the same time, Vasco announced it has shifted its focus to identity verification, launched a Trusted Identity platform and changed the overall company name to OneSpan.

With those moves, the company seeks to capitalize on a challenge all banks face — the need to let new customers sign up for accounts and products quickly through a mobile device or website, while being absolutely certain that the customers are who they say they are.

And it is another sign that the newest generation of bank customers is not interested in coming into a branch and sitting down for an hour or more with branch staff to set up an account.

“In the U.S., a large majority of new account applications are from millennials who don’t want to go into a bank branch — they want to do things online, and they will quickly abandon a process if it’s not working or not satisfying their needs,” said Scott Clements, CEO of OneSpan. “At the same time, there are regulatory and anti-fraud requirements that you need to meet in doing that. So trying to do that in the right way is a big deal and there’s a lot of economic opportunity around that.”

Vasco historically provided software for authenticating known identities through one-time passwords and other types of multifactor authentication.

“The acquisition of Dealflo allows us to move beyond identifying known identities to the verification of unknown identities as part of things like onboarding processes,” Clements said. “That can include things like, a customer wants to open a new current account, or apply for an auto loan, or any other type of consumer or asset finance, where you have an unknown customer in the online or mobile digital space trying to establish a relationship with the institution.”

Like other identity verification providers, including Socure, Alloy and Mitek, Dealflo provides a variety of ways to verify a new customer’s identity, depending on the type of account and the risk involved. It might look at identity document scans, such as driver’s licenses and passports. It might compare the data a consumer inputs against that person’s files at the major credit bureaus. It might draw information from the user’s device. A scoring algorithm determines a confidence level for each identity. Dealflo has partnerships with identity verification providers Equifax, iovation (which is being acquired by TransUnion), Mitek and GB Group; it also bought eSignLive in 2015 and has rebranded it OneSpan Sign.

“If you’re not sophisticated about how you do this, you could end up with a lot of false negatives in terms of someone’s identity,” Clements said. “For instance, if the information collected is ambiguous about the identity, historically that was the end of it and someone has to go into a branch or call center. As soon as you start adding that friction to the process, you start losing a lot of customers.”

Dealflo has been doing this work for companies like auto lenders for about five years in the U.K. and other parts of Europe.

The new Trusted Identity platform combines Dealflo’s technology with other security software OneSpan owns or has partnerships to use, including real-time fraud detection, multifactor authentication and mobile application security, along with orchestration of all of the available services.

The newest component is Intelligent Adaptive Authentication, which reviews data from user behavior, devices, mobile applications and real-time transactions, then uses artificial intelligence with machine learning plus preconfigured and customizable rule sets to analyze and score that data.

OneSpan will support these relationships and plans to increase the number of e-sign partnerships as it expands Dealflo’s presence globally.

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Identity verification Device security M&A VASCO Data Security International U.K.