The First Identiq Member Summit
On March 31 Identiq held the first Identiq Member Summit. Like everything else at the moment, of course, it was online, but the sense of community was just as strong as if all the members had been in the same room together.
The necessity of moving online became a strength; the Summit saw participants from 17 companies, across 5 continents and 7 time zones, all coming together to kick off the future of identity validation.
Many industries were represented as well, from ride sharing platforms like Gett and Via, to event management and ticketing like Eventbrite, financial software firms like Intuit, gaming companies such as Green Man Gaming, online learning systems like Udemy, payments companies like PayU and Plastiq, and gift card marketplaces like Blackhawk Network, as well as a number of others from a range of industries, including retail, online marketplaces, apartment-sharing and financial services.
There was an inspiring sense of excitement as these fraud prevention leaders explained how they had seen the power of collaboration make real, measurable impact in the past and the different reasons they are so enthusiastic about being able to work together to validate identities on the data level — without any company ever sharing any user’s personal data.
Direct Collaboration on a Data Level — Through The Power of Anonymity
Anonymity was a recurring theme at the Summit, which makes sense. Identiq’s network is truly anonymous; no network member shares any user’s personal data with any other members, or even with Identiq.
When a member sends a query to the network (“Do you know this user/email/phone number/credit card/etc.?”) no other member knows which company is asking, what they’re asking about, or what the answer is. And no member knows which companies answered, either.
“This first sounded almost too good to be true,” said Vlad Branin, Director of Product, Global Business Operations at Gett. “As I learned more, I came to the conclusion that this really is possible; I was hooked. The combination of network effect and anonymization should provide a very, very high level of confidence for business decision-makers. I can’t wait to see the possibilities of Identiq realized.”
Professor Ran Canetti, professor of Computer Science at Boston University and the recipient of many awards including the RSA Award for Excellence in Mathematics and the IBM Research Outstanding Innovation Award, explained the cryptographic context behind the anonymity of the network. He discussed why a technique which had been established in academic circles for decades had recently emerged to tackle real-life challenges.
Other members agreed they had never heard of anything like it before either, and CEO Itay Levy noted that in the context of impactful innovation, Identiq had recently been recognized in the Gartner Cool Vendors in Privacy, 2020 report.
Anonymity means that collaboration can be far more impactful.
“I know this kind of approach can work, but have not seen it done in this way where it’s encrypted and then sent out anonymously,” said Arielle Caron, Head of Risk Product and Risk Data Science for Blackhawk Network. “I’m very excited about this, and we’re looking forward to partnering with all of the amazing brands in the summit.”
Fighting False Declines as Well as Fraud
Many Summit participants discussed why they were as interested in the positive identification aspect of the network as its fraud fighting abilities. As leaders in their field, they feel the responsibility of finding the right balance between blocking fraud and impacting user experience.
“The main challenge is how to collaborate without jeopardizing info and blocking everyone because of fraud risks,” said one member. This was on everyone’s minds as the session developed.
When companies collaborate anonymously, they can share knowledge so that no user is ever really new again. While a user might be unknown to one member, others will likely know and trust them. When that trust is shared through the network, real users can receive a fast, frictionless experience every time — even the first time they visit a site.
Kicking Off the Network
CEO Itay Levy and Uri Arad, Identiq’s co-founder and VP Product, spoke about the kickoff process and explained how it had been designed to be quick and easy, even in today’s digital-only reality.
Michal Yair, Product Lead for PayU spoke about the ease of onboarding with Identiq.
“After three days, I was able to demonstrate a working integration. It was quite amazing. Creating better solutions for underbanked communities is at the heart of what we do, so joining the Summit made perfect sense.”
At the end, the members raised their glasses in a toast, and of course there was only one possible subject: To the power of collaboration!