What Is Vision of Identify Verification Globally

  • Andrew Sever, Co-founder & CEO at Sumsub

  • 01.07.2022 07:47 am

Interview with Andrew Sever, founder of Sumsub.

Could you please tell our readers more about Sumsub?

Sumsub is an international tech company that helps businesses onboard online clients and comply with AML/KYC regulations with AI-driven identity verification tools. It uses forensic anti-fraud software to make identity verification fast, secure, and transparent for clients. Thanks to our strong in-house compliance team, since 2015 we have grown into a leader within this sector, helping businesses comply with regulations in 197 countries and territories. Our methodology follows FATF recommendations — the international standard for AML/CTF rules. We are also licensed as ASP by CySec.

Sumsub offers an all-in-one, customizable solution that verifies users no matter their language or location — helping businesses scale to international markets faster and adhere to global compliance requirements more efficiently. Our platform is easily adjustable and offers a wide range of solutions, from fully-automated identity verification to agent-assisted verification. We help companies implement a risk-based approach and follow both global and local regulatory requirements (FATF, FINMA, FCA, CySEC, MAS).

In your opinion, what are the challenges and trends in the financial services industry, especially for KYC&AML providers?
There are some notable trends in the financial services industry that KYC/AML compliance providers need to adapt to. The emergence of digital passports (also called BYOID or self-sovereign identity) is one of them. These are a user-centric means of providing everyone with a safe and convenient way to manage their digital identity. Many governments are currently working on implementing BYOIDs, and KYC providers must develop their remote verification technologies accordingly.

What’s more, many companies are moving to biometry-based solutions like liveness because they ensure the highest level of fraud protection while making it easier for honest users to pass verification.

We’re also seeing stricter rules applied to previously unregulated industries. As an example, decentralized crypto businesses like DeFi platforms might soon get regulated, so there’s a need to create a verification solution that would fit their compliance processes.

Overall, it’s no longer enough to be just another KYC solution; businesses want to be supported by an identity verification orchestrator that can manage their entire customer lifecycle and keep them protected from all kinds of fraud while maintaining full compliance with regulations.

As a CEO what do you advise aspiring entrepreneurs? Can you share some of the best lessons you learned during your career?
I’d like to share three things I’ve learned as CEO of Sumsub.
First, align your business strategy with your ultimate aspirations. If your business has international goals, start going global right away and don’t waste all your time and effort on the local market. This also means targeting the customer sector you’re aiming to win right from the start. We took this approach by going after the fintech market from the start. This paid huge dividends for us, since the fintech industry has grown tremendously since 2015. Now we have over 1000 global customers thanks to us prioritizing the right clients from the beginning.
Second, if you’re still a small player, use this as your competitive advantage. Big IT companies have a longer development cycle for product releases, which makes them less flexible. Instead, you can take a client-oriented approach. This means listening carefully to your customers’ specific needs and developing the functionality they require on the spot. Trust me, it’ll do wonders for client retention and future growth.
Last, but not least: hire slowly, but fire quickly. Yes, there’s a chance that the person you've rushed to hire turns out to be just who you needed. But I wouldn’t count on it. More likely, you’ll be wasting your time with someone who isn’t appropriate for the position. Even worse, you could have to deal with the consequences of their mistakes long after they're gone. On the other hand, don’t hesitate to say goodbye to those who’ve clearly lost interest in the work your company is doing. If there's no way to redeem their motivation, the best idea would be to let them go. It may sound harsh, but both parties win here; your company gets a chance to find a new specialist with a fresh set of ideas, and your former colleague will have a chance to find something more fulfilling for them.

What is next for Sumsub? 
Sumsub is developing fast, and we’ve got a lot in the pipeline for the next 12 months. As for our team, we now have over 300 employees, and we expect to have over 400 next summer. 

This is what we’re doing as far as product development: 

1) Creating digital ID verification solutions which can be used to onboard users without physical documents and, with that, expanding our Reusable KYC for instant onboarding of partner-verified users; 

2) Infinite KYC, which is identity verification combined with continuous user monitoring and fraud prevention; 

3) KYT (know-your-transaction) verification and full-cycle transaction monitoring; 

4) Enhancing our video identification solution to make it faster and more user-friendly; 

5) Expand our existing KYB (know-your-business) verification solution.

Plus, our team is constantly working to get industry recognition for the services we provide and to reinforce our commitment to information security and privacy. For instance, we’ve just completed the System and Organisation Controls (SOC) 2 type 1 attestation, which confirms that Sumsub has maintained effective controls over the security of its identity orchestration platform. Now we’re aiming to pass the next level of this examination in the near future, which would hopefully result in us obtaining a SOC 2 type 2 report.

All in all, Sumsub will continue to expand globally by continuing to offer reliable identity verification and the utmost KYC/AML compliance expertise. We’ll do our best to deepen our global coverage and remain one of the top players in the industry.

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