The RegTech Revolution : Defragmenting Identity at K(NO)W ID Conference

With K(NO)W ID Conference under a month away, we’re taking a closer look at identity.

From big data to biometrics, emerging markets to privacy and security, identity is an issue with huge implications for all of us – not just for Identity Verification providers like Onfido. In fact, thousands of industry professionals will deep-dive into the trends and challenges around identity at next month’s K(NO)W ID Conference. On May 15-17th in Washington D.C., thought leaders and specialists from across a spectrum of backgrounds will come together to defrag identity.

As a leading provider of global identity verification (IDV), Onfido will be attending to hear opinions from leaders in the field, exhibit our Machine Learning-based KYC solution, and share our own views, experience, and expertise. You’ll find us in the exhibition hall at stand 300, and our CEO Husayn Kassai will also be taking the stage to discuss ‘Lessons Learned From Identity Verification In Emerging Markets’.

Ahead of the conference, Onfido’s US Commerical Director, Parker Crockford, joined Cameron d’Ambrosi of One World Identity and Ryan Zagone of Ripple for the State of Identity podcast, where they talked RegTech, its application to some of identity’s biggest problems, and how Onfido’s RegTech Principles for Innovation might help. Here’s what they discussed:

What is RegTech?

Driving innovation while still ensuring compliance is a challenge for regulators worldwide, and one that they’re increasingly turning to technology to solve. RegTech, as defined by the FCA, is a set of companies and solutions that marry innovation technologies and regulation, in order to address regulatory requirements across industries. RegTech solutions help businesses become more efficient when it comes to meeting regulatory requirements by automating manual processes, enabling them to scale.

Regtech is becoming increasingly popular due to a number of pressures – notably, the need for businesses to bring down the costs of manually completing processes. There’s currently an industry-wide theme of de-risking that’s seeing whole products and markets stepped down; with RegTech, it’s possible to maintain them at a level of risk that’s more tolerable.

What Can We Do With It?

The RegTech solutions being widely used at the moment fall broadly into three buckets: enablement and efficiency, data collection and standardization, and analysis.

Onfido’s KYC technology is an example of enablement and efficiency; we automate the identity verification process, helping to onboard people to new regulated platforms in a compliant way, while driving conversion rates higher. Data collection and standardization technologies are helping move away from typical fragmented data structures, overcoming siloed or inconsistent data to make it easier to gather information. With that data collected, analysis based on machine learning or risk modelling can help users take advantage of it.

What Are the RegTech Principles for Innovation?

Regtech is already helping large, slow-moving institutions to innovate, and it’s in light of this that Onfido has launched the RegTech Principles for Innovation to help accelerate uptake even further.

We believe that RegTech can bridge the gap between regulators and business while protecting the best interests of consumers. RegTech enables regulators to successfully implement and audit their compliance requirements and offers businesses a cost-effective way of meeting them. Most importantly, RegTech makes these services available to those who, until now, have been excluded from our economy. We intend to use RegTech to build an inclusive financial ecosystem that cares for the consumer and keeps businesses safe in the face of new risks.

What’s Next?

The UK and Singapore have taken a proactive approach to incorporating innovative technologies – but can the US follow suit?

In the UK, there are key advantages in that one single regulator oversees the space with the dual goals of protecting consumers and promoting competition. Onfido’s working with Innovate Finance and the FCA in the UK on an industry sandbox that will allow new products and companies to collaborate with regulators in a controlled and protected way - something people in the US are very envious of. There’s not currently an opportunity to float ideas with regulators in the US, and it’s something a lot of businesses would benefit from.

Likewise, Singapore has proven an early leader in encouraging industry engagement. After hosting a forum to understand global FinTech and RegTech solutions, they are now developing a KYC utility for banks to use, which will help with client onboarding and payment screening. The USA has lessons to learn from these early movers in finding out what’s working, what’s not, and what could work in our own markets.

You can listen to the podcast in full here, or to hear more from Onfido, be sure to join our panel session at K(NO)W ID next month. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Niamh is PR & Content Manager at Onfido. When she isn't doing that, she enjoys cheese boards, books about serial killers and collecting vinyl.