Signicat, the first and largest identity assurance provider in the world, has secured phase two funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, the framework for funding research and innovation. The funding will be used to further develop Signicat’s IDAaaS (Identity Assurance as a Service) toolbox for use across Europe—helping to create a single digital identity market for Europe, one of the European Commission’s priorities for the latter half of the decade.
Signicat’s IDAaaS service will enable financial service providers and other businesses across Europe to verify the identity of a new customer—either an individual or an organisation—using electronic identity (eID) and digital verification of paper ID, as well as other technologies including registry lookup, facial recognition, and other innovations. This means businesses can comply with complex KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, while still offering simple, digital on-boarding to their customers.
The grant follows the completion of phase one, undertaken by Signicat and funded by Horizon 2020 in December 2016. This analysed the need for and applicability of digital on-boarding in selected countries. Working with Innopay, Signicat discovered that on average, European eID schemes provide 69% of the information that financial institutions need in order to on-board a customer wholly digitally, and identified the gaps where Signicat could offer IDAaaS. This new project builds on this work.
“A single digital ID market in Europe is vital so that financial service providers can easily offer their services across borders without the customer struggling to assert their identity. Cross-border digital ID creates greater choice and convenience for the customer, and opens up new markets for financial institutions” said Gunnar Nordseth, CEO, Signicat. “While eIDAS is a step in the right direction, it does not yet go far enough. Our vision is to integrate eIDs across Europe, making on-boarding customers simple for financial institutions and their customers, while still meeting KYC regulations.”
The EU’s eIDAS regulations aim to help financial services across Europe meet KYC requirements through digital IDs. While eIDAS provides a standard regulatory environment with different levels of assurance for different levels of risk, it is up to member states to define the tools needed for each level of assurance. This has created a fractured ecosystem lacking consistency across borders.
Signicat is the first IDAaaS provider in the world and will develop its IDAaaS toolbox to meet the requirements in more countries, integrating identity assurance across Europe. As well as creating new business opportunities for Signicat in new markets, this will help the Financial Services industry develop as a single digital market.
Horizon 2020 is part of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.