Onfido Steps Forward for FinTech

Edward Ungar, Chief Commercial Officer at Onfido, explains why it's so encouraging to see the government engaging with the growing industry.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on FinTech has published its ‘Stepping Forward for FinTech’ report. Launched last year, the APPG aims to raise awareness of the industry and its impact on the UK economy within Parliament, and support the sector as it gathers momentum.

As Adam Afriyle MP, Chair of the Group commented, the flourishing FinTech community is creating a “more pluralistic, inclusive and secure financial environment” in the UK - and Onfido was pleased to be referenced in the report as a leading player in building towards that goal.

The report cites Onfido for bringing much needed efficiency to identity verification and know-your-client processes: “Head-to-head testing shows computers are outperforming manual solutions. The discussion should now shift to driving adoption, so businesses can reinvest these resources to best serve their customers.”

Among the primary targets for the FinTech market as it develops is bolstering the security and integrity of our financial transactions. With 82% of identity fraud committed online, the need to provide a robust and efficient standard of identity checking is all too apparent, and it’s where Onfido’s machine-learning technology delivers. Among other capabilities, Onfido offers KYC and AML processes to ensure people are who they say they are; no mean feat in an increasingly remote digital world.

The report continues that Onfido, “uses modern methods to check and verify identity. For example, machine-scanning of ID documents can not only compare the photo against a video clip of the applicant, but also reliably check the document for signs of tampering or forgery, something that paper-based and face-to-face ID checks rarely do.”

Problematically, however, the need for ‘RegTech’ solutions is outstripping awareness and trust within financial services. The report points out that much of the law and guidance around these services predates their automation, meaning businesses are slow to switch to technologies that could be saving them time and money, while providing a better user experience for their customers.

It’s encouraging to see the APPG’s recommendation that more guidance be offered to help counteract current scepticism towards digital solutions, and accelerate adoption of new technologies as they continue to emerge. Removing these barriers to adoption will help the FinTech community continue to innovate, keeping the UK at the forefront of financial services. EY recently found London to be the world’s leading FinTech hub, though it’s a headstart it’ll have to work hard to maintain.

Like the report, we welcome the government’s engagement and steps to “foster further collaboration and procurement between Regtech innovators and traditional financial services firms.” The APPG for FinTech is a valuable resource and I’d definitely recommend giving the report a read.

To find out why RegTech could be key to FinTech's future growth, see Jamie Miles' speech from the APPG FinTech Summer Reception.

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Edward is Chief Commercial Officer at Onfido.
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