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How Covid-19 Revolutionized the Identity Authentication Market

Journey to the Past: From the Egyptians to Biometric Identification

We’re all familiar with the well-established bureaucratic procedures of proving we are who we claim to be. Typically, this means flashing an ID card or scribbling a signature. These procedures have evolved little since high school. It’s become so routine that we give minimal thought to the practice. It’s just the way things are.

But a signature or state I.D. are two of the weakest and most insecure methods of identification. The fact that our money and data often depend on a unique John Hancock, or document invented by Egyptians 3000 years ago, makes little sense. Signatures can easily be forged, and I.D.s can be stolen or lost. The same happens with usernames and passwords- which can also be forgotten and require updates. Clearly, these methods are unreliable. Perhaps they never were. We’re only human after all.

Enter COVID-19. All of a sudden there was a demand to create a world without physical identity cards. A world where cups of sanitized and dirty pens are no longer displayed every time you need to sign a credit card receipt. Biometrics - using biological or physical characteristics to identify individuals began to prevail as a simpler and safer mechanism. A solution 3000 years in the making (kind of).

Our physical attributes are the most immutable and accurate way of identifying who we are. These attributes, when integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, become the key to providing customers with a unique user experience with businesses.

In the case of Incode, a leading $1.25 billion identity verification and authentication company, most of its technology, over 90%, is created in-house.

“The fact that the technology is built in-house gives us the flexibility and speed to move forward and quickly adapt to the needs of companies”, explains Ricardo Amper, CEO and founder of the Mexican unicorn. “Much of the biometric market is still relatively new. Legislation on privacy and data continues to change. Owning the technology means we can be agile and build our solution based on what the customer wants and what the current regulations specify”.

Today, companies using biometric authentication have redefined expectations for digital customer experiences by offering frictionless, contactless, and highly secure transactions between people, data, and systems. The Incode platform uses 70 different security components such as the IP addresses of the devices, the corroboration of the desire of the people to start a process, the characteristics of the web access terminals, the validation of the data in the credentials and more and more biometric elements such as voice and fingerprints, among others.

"We are an identity and technology company. What we do is transfer to the digital world the trust that is typically easy to obtain physically", says Ricardo Amper, who recalls that, before the implementation of Incode, all these interactions between companies and users had to be reviewed by human personnel, which was detrimental to speed, accuracy and privacy during the process.

"It was the perfect task for an artificial intelligence system to verify all those documents. It was a fundamental change, Incode is the first company that, today, is fully automated. And that is why we have grown a lot in Mexico and the world”.

Physical IDs have been used for thousands of years and have outgrown their usefulness. Your signature, as unique and artistic as it may be, is already more a decorative relic than secure method of identification.

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