Irish company looking to grow its identity in US

Irish company looking to grow its identity in US

By Ruth Doris

Under European regulations, all financial services businesses — including banks, credit unions, and insurance brokers — are legally required to verify the identity of new customers.

The process, termed Know Your Customer (KYC), is designed to prevent fraud and is part of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

It can take 24 hours or longer, and stockbroker, Colum Lyons, found that his customers were getting frustrated with the bureaucracy.

In digitalising the customer on-boarding experience, he founded ID-Pal with James O’Toole, a former Accenture management consultant, and with tax advisor, Patrick McClafferty. The goal has been to design and build a solution for identity verification that’s easy to implement and simpler to use.

He said that ID-Pal reduces the cost, risk, and frustration of customer on-boarding, with “a seamless user experience into an end-to-end solution that can be configured, branded, and integrated into a business’s processes with minimal or no technical effort required.”

The solution includes a mobile app to enable the customer to capture their information and send it securely to the business.

“All the customer needs to do is take a picture of their passport and driving licence, as well as a recent utility bill and then blink into a camera, when prompted.

“We use motion-detection and facial-gesture recognition to ensure that they are a real, live person and then compare their facial features with the photo ID to ensure that that person is the rightful owner of the documentation. Similarly, we use machine learning to ensure the identity documents haven’t been tampered or forged with in any way.”

Consumers are very aware of data protection, and Mr O’Toole said security is a big part of ID-Pal’s value proposition.

He said ID-Pal’s solution “meets and exceeds industry standards, from both a cybersecurity and a data-protection perspective, because trust lies at the heart of everything we do.”

The average account-opening process can take 20-40 minutes in-branch, and up to 24 hours for remote customer on-boarding.

ID-Pal can bring that down to less than two minutes for the entire end-to-end process, according to Mr O’Toole.

Mr O’Toole said ID-Pal’s true value proposition is not just saving time, it’s helping businesses to reduce the drop-out rate at the customer sign-up.

He said that, on average, 50% — and up to 80% — of customers attempting to open an account online drop out of the process, due to a frustrating experience.

With other service providers within the KYC and AML space, there’s a lot of time and costs associated with development, testing, and integration.

Using ID-Pal’s “flexible architecture”, a business can configure and implement a seamless solution for customer on-boarding, either in person, remotely, or via their broker network, in a matter of minutes or days, rather than months or years, Mr O’Toole said.

“We remove the cost, risk, and timelines usually associated with digital transformation projects and, in doing so, make industry-leading technologies accessible to the masses.”

Having conducted pilots last year, ID-Pal is now fully commercial and is working with pillar banks in Ireland and the UK.

The company is currently working with JobsOhio to secure grant support for setting up a US base in Columbus, Ohio.

Fresh from its win in the Fintech category at the Enterprise Ireland and Bank of Ireland-sponsored National Startup Awards, ID-Pal is in the middle of a funding round, looking to raise capital from a combination of angel and institutional investors to focus on expansion within the US and internationally.

While the initial focus is on financial service businesses, because of the mandatory regulations in the industry, ID-Pal is looking to explore other industries that need identity verification, including real estate, healthcare, and third-level education.

More in this Section

Legislation to test self-driving cars on Irish roads approvedLegislation to test self-driving cars on Irish roads approved

Businessman who defrauded Revenue of €160k jailed for two yearsBusinessman who defrauded Revenue of €160k jailed for two years

Opec strikes deal with Russia to cut crude oil productionOpec strikes deal with Russia to cut crude oil production

Manchester United link up with Chinese company Alibaba GroupManchester United link up with Chinese company Alibaba Group


Lifestyle

Sating the festive appetite is what Christmas is all about, here Joe McNamee takes us through the best culinary delights that are produced right here on our doorstep.Want to give local this Christmas? Joe McNamee rounds up the the country's very best food produce

Architect and artist Harry Wallace tells Eve Kelliher how his style has evolved.How a lifetime as an architect has inspired Cork artist Harry Wallace

Don’t let present stress ruin your run-up to Christmas. Pat Fitzpatrick has done all the hard work with this tongue-in-cheek gift guide for every budget, so you can tick everyone off your list and get down to enjoying yourself for the festive season.Gift stressbuster: We sort out who gets what and why

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

More From The Irish Examiner