German ID verification start-up expands to Manchester

Roger Tyrzyk

A German identification verification business is expanding its UK presence by opening a Manchester office.

IDnow, based in Munich, has taken space with WeWork at 1 St Peter’s Square in the centre of the city.

A team of three will be based there – once lockdown measures allow – but head of UK sales, Roger Tyrzyk, said that could increase to 10 or 12 staff in the next two to three years.

IDnow is a start-up venture, but already numbers BP, Macropay and the UK government among the latest to explore its AI and video identity software.

Talks are taking place with the Government about creating “immunity passports” for people who have recovered from COVID-19.

The deal could see IDnow’s technology used to determine how recently someone has been tested and whether they can return to work.

IDnow has secured deals with some major UK companies, among them several FTSE 250 companies such as BP and GVC, as well as Macropay, Holvi and Allied Irish Banks.

Its technology offers a comprehensive suite of checks.

The use of video identity verification software will, first, confirm the document that the person is using is valid and, secondly, will enable a short interview to be conducted with the person in real time by an IDnow operator.

The system can check identity documents, even including documents incorporating a hologram. A 3D-selfie is also part of the verification process.

AI-based technology can check all security features on ID documents, enabling the identities of more than seven billion customers from 193 different countries to be verified.

Since launching in the UK with a London office in November last year following a $40m financing round, IDnow has seen enormous demand from organisations for its AI-based product AutoIdent.

In particular, it has seen increased demand from regulated sectors such as finance and gaming.

As these industries face increased regulatory pressure, IDnow’s expert knowledge of German regulation, which is considered one of the most highly-regulated markets globally, has become critical.

“Thanks to the reliability of our German technology and given it has to adhere to the BaFin regulations, the highest standards in the industry, we are attracting leading players in the UK’s gaming and financial services sectors looking for compliant and steadfast identity verification services,” said Mr Tyrzyk.

By opening in Manchester the company is competing with established players in the sector, such as GB Group and Experian who both employ hundreds of staff at their respective Chester operations.

But Mr Tyrzyk said, as a start-up, IDnow is more responsive: “We are more agile and quicker when it comes to innovation.”

He added: “Identity verification is now a high growth market – especially during the current crisis when digital products are in higher demand than ever before.

“The current requirements from the UK government allows us to play to our strengths in creating innovative technology to support this vital strategy. The impact of the current pandemic has shown the important role digital identity verification can play in helping the UK get back on its feet.

“We expect a new normal after the pandemic, so anticipate further growth as people adjust to the new digital ways of working and living.

“In fact, it will soon become the norm in all kinds of different industries as they look to use secure video-base identity verification products to onboard customers or to perform electronic signatures.”