Online identity verification sees surge in demand driven by COVID-19 – TechCrunch

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With many businesses switching from staff to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a clearly chronic increase in demand for video conferencing and other communication tools like Zoom.

Other types of startups are also seeing their use increase, as consumers and businesses look to do more online during a global health crisis. Telehealth is obvious. Earlier this month US President Trump has lifted restrictions on telehealth services for the federal health insurance program, Medicare – opening the door to an increase in remote consultations of Americans with federal health insurance.

Europe, meanwhile, is currently experiencing the fastest rates of confirmed COVID-19 infections, which is also boosting demand for remote medical checks.

Swedish video medicine startup Kry today reported a huge increase in demand across all of its markets (Sweden, Norway, UK, France and Germany) which it attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic , with consultations for virus symptoms alone up 240% since February 1.

Several online identity verification startups have also told us that they have seen increased demand in recent weeks, especially due to a parallel growth in telemedicine where remote verification of a patient’s identity is an essential requirement given the sensitivity of the data concerned.

Digital identity startup Passbase, which offers APIs to allow developers to easily plug in and integrate a range of user-friendly identity checks into their digital services, also told us it’s seen an “unprecedented” increase in requests from European and North American companies operating in the MedTech sector over the past two weeks – such as more and more people are seeking remote consultations to reduce the potential spread of the virus.

One of the customers of Passbase – German telemedicine platform TeleClinic – was directly involved in helping diagnose staff at an auto factory who reported the country’s first COVID-19 infection.

“As a healthcare and digital product, trust in our service is essential,” TeleClinic Founder and CEO Katharina Jünger said in a statement explaining how Passbase has accelerated scalable integration. “The fact that a patient can speak to a healthcare professional and instantly receive reliable information is very important, especially at times like this. “

Passbase said it is give priority integration support and waive all subscription fees for any company dedicated to helping individuals get through the COVID-19 crisis. “In these unprecedented times, everyone must do their part as we fight together against this ongoing epidemic. By accelerating the integration of these companies, we hope to be able to help some people affected by the coronavirus, added co-founder and CEO, Mathias Klenk.

Another digital identity startup, Onfido – which pledges on its website to be able to verify a person’s identity in as little as 15 seconds – also told us that it has seen a surge in demand from the industry. health.

“Our clients offering remote online consultations have seen a massive 370% increase in the number of applicants since January compared to last year,” a spokesperson said. “It is clear that there are advantages to not having to go to a hospital or to a local doctor’s waiting room for fear of contracting the disease. virus in the waiting room.

He also said he saw a bump around travel – albeit for a very specific niche: car rental.

Industry clients welcome 26% more applicants this month compared to the same period last year, he told us. “The likely explanation is that daily commuters who do not own a car refrain from taking public transport for fear of catching the virus from overcrowded trains or buses, choosing instead to drive to work.” , noted the spokesperson.

Growing demand for online banking and fintech is also driving the use of its tools now, according to the spokesperson. “The first signs seem to suggest a 21% increase in registrations this month. Presumably, so that people can access financial services from their homes without having to go to branches, ”they added.

Last week, another startup in the space – Veriff, with an “end-to-end verification service” that combines automated and manual scans to authenticate entries – reported seeing a “steady increase” in verifications, which ‘it is partly linked to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Although he said it is expecting a bigger boost in the future, after seeing an increase in inquiries about its service.

“The coronavirus presents new use cases and needs for remote identity verification,” founder and CEO Kaarel Kotkas told us. “For example, we have been contacted by universities looking for remote exam options, but also large tech companies for account recovery and reset credentials to support remote work. “

“For our current customers, we’ve seen a steady increase in identity checks over the past month – globally, that’s an increase of around 20%. However, certainly not everything can be explained by the coronavirus. Yet, looking at the past 2 weeks where the coronavirus has really escalated in Europe and the United States, it has triggered a lot of coronavirus related integrations like e-notaries, digital healthcare and more. Therefore, we expect a 50% increase in our volumes next month, ”he added.

A longer-term player in the digital identity space – Authenteq, which sells omnichannel identity verification and KYC services, also confirmed an increase in demand.

“We are seeing an increase in demands from companies that cater to the remote worker market as well as companies that want to switch to an increased remote work or work from home policy,” said the co-founder and CEO. Kari Thor.

“We had a large multinational client that we were working on to integrate our identity verification solution, which a few weeks ago changed the focus of their use case to verify their employees remotely, not just to to access the company intranet and other systems, but also to allow people now working from home to electronically sign documents and contracts using Authenteq technology.

“While this was not the main value proposition we had and we only dealt with employee eID on special occasions, we started to focus more on this product offering. for businesses in these uncertain times. “

“Obviously the US market may be a little behind Asian and European customers and I think we’ll see more interest from US companies this week as they realize things could be okay. in the same direction with regard to the WFH. [working from home] policies as we have seen in Europe over the past 10 days, ”he added.


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