As part of IdentityNORTH’s mandate to promote Canadian innovations and organisations, we have launched the ‘Startup Spotlight.’ Proudly supported by TD Bank, this series shines a light on emerging Canadian companies who are driving innovation across the digital ID ecosystem.   

Headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Trulioo provides global digital identity and business verification services since its founding in 2011. Trulioo serves a wide range of companies, from local startups to some of the world’s largest banks, payment and money transfer companies, social media networks, marketplaces, Big Tech companies, and Fortune 500 companies. The IdentityNORTH team connected with the Trulioo founders to learn more about their story, milestone moments and vision for the future of identity. 

What’s The Story?

From Trulioo’s perspective, to say that identity is an essential element in today’s society is somewhat of an understatement. Organizations need to verify the identities of their customers to not only ensure they meet regulatory requirements, but to protect their business and prevent bad actors from using their services to launder money and commit fraudulent acts. Trulioo helps these organizations verify the identities of five billion people and 250 million businesses across 195 countries.

At inception, Trulioo used Big Data to verify cyber identities, helping organizations determine if their customers’ accounts were machine-generated, fraudulent, or if they belonged to real people. Within a few years, however, the company realized that it wanted to solve a bigger and more urgent problem: Identity Verification. 

Trulioo’s transition from “verifying online identities” to “online identity verification” was subtle, yet significant. Leveraging disruptive technology, the company now plays a pioneering role in the identity space, creating a layer of trust between organizations and their customers. With Trulioo’s technology, organizations have been able to reduce the time it takes to onboard a customer from days or weeks to seconds. 

One of the most significant ways in which Trulioo was able to increase its coverage was by partnering with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). MNOs play a game-changing role in developing areas of the world, where a large part of the population is “unbanked”, and traditional sources of identity have limited coverage. In emerging markets, the mobile user base outstrips that of financial services –  for instance, over the last four years, over a billion mobile accounts were opened around the world, compared to 500 million bank accounts. The data in possession of MNOs can go a long way in verifying the identity of otherwise “thin-file” merchants.  

Who Benefits?

Trulioo serves a wide variety of industries, including finance, investment banking, marketplaces, gambling and gaming, and more. The company counts its global coverage as their biggest competitive advantage through their online platform: GlobalGateway. This marketplace of identity data and services allows organizations to securely access over 400 trusted data sources across the world to verify individuals and businesses through a single touchpoint (API) and under one contract.  

 With Trulioo’s GlobalGateway, organizations can safely expand into foreign markets at a fraction of the time it would usually take, which is immensely important to highly competitive and fast-growing companies looking to roll out their services in new markets. 

There are also benefits in terms of customer onboarding – with Trulioo’s technology, expertise and through a network of data partnerships, organizations can reduce the time it takes to onboard a customer. Trulioo’s marketplace helps organizations verify individuals and merchants in remote regions and developing parts of the world, where traditionally it has been challenging to verify customers.

Trulioo helps organizations verify the identities of five billion people and 250 million businesses across 195 countries

What’s the Future of Identity?

The future of digital identity is becoming more and more about how we address existing challenges in new, innovative ways, using increasingly intelligent technologies, as Trulioo sees it. 

The biggest opportunity in the digital identity space centers around accessibility to new technologies. Today, more than ever before, we benefit from having technology at our fingertips that can be used to help capture the widest selection of identity data. 

What is the Ecosystem and Who are the Other Players?

When it comes to identity, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, notes the Trulioo team. As the mosaic of identity is an ever-changing collection of attributes, input is required from various parties – regulators, banks, MNOs, governments, etc. – in order to break down barriers and create a trusted, global solution. 

For example, with the increased globalization of financial services, it’s become clear that money laundering is progressively more widespread. Due to limited transparency and information sharing, banks and other financial institutions are becoming increasingly vulnerable to financial crime. Using state of the art digital tools (i.e. AI-driven technology) alongside information provided by the aforementioned parties, the process of identity verification can be streamlined, helping to put a stop to nefarious activities and add a layer of trust and safety to the digital world.

With the firm belief that a global approach is the way forward, Trulioo envisions that these parties will play an increasingly important role in the identity ecosystem for many years to come.

Trulioo’s marketplace helps organizations verify individuals and merchants in remote regions and developing parts of the world

What’s Next?

Since the beginning of their online identity verification chapter, one of the most significant turning points in Trulioo’s journey has been the substantial growth in their identity verification coverage.   

There are slightly over seven billion people on the planet and in October 2018, Trulioo announced their ability to verify five billion of them, a feat that took only two years to achieve. The barriers, in large part, can be ascribed to the absence of traditional identity data sources in large parts of the developing and the underdeveloped world. To Trulioo’s knowledge, no one had overcome this barrier before. 

Trulioo recently launched EmbedID, which enables businesses to query GlobalGateway to instantly verify customers in multiple markets with a few lines of code, while supporting country-specific AML/KYC requirements.

Trulioo plans to build upon this technology in order to ensure that they can support their clients and continue to provide comprehensive, secure, global identity verification coverage. We at IdentityNORTH are excited to see what new heights Trulioo will reach!