It's always difficult, in any industry, to predict what might happen in the next 12 months. Particularly after a year like 2020. However, every business has to be forward-thinking and look ahead to what's around the corner in the next year or two for themselves and their industry at large.
We decided to put two key questions to two of our smartest and longest-serving people - Tiit Paananen, VP of Engineering, and Kreet Prants, Head of Verification Operations.
The questions we asked them were:
We've included their answers written in full below, as well as videos of both interviews. Enjoy!
There are a couple of interesting trends. First maybe, the mobility and logistics industries need to lower their operational costs, and build more interfaces between their end-users and themselves in a way they’ve never done before, so there are lots of new use cases. Also, earlier use cases that used to be physical, now moving into the virtual world. So I’m seeing a continuous trend in the mobility sector, where people now have access to the sharing economy, and also the logistics sector where traditional owners need to rethink their way of business because the share-economy is still moving and continues to move and everything has to be pretty much contactless.
It’s not only because of the pandemic, it’s also because of efficiency. Often, identity verification can provide an even higher level of trust between the client and the end-user.
And the other interesting trend is actually something that is not maybe on everyone’s radar yet, but it will be. The boom of cryptocurrencies and the instruments built on top of cryptocurrencies, like smart contracts, or decentralised finance, is in rapid development and it’s not only a pyramid scheme, there are actually use cases that provide value and allow people to share liquidity that is disconnected from the inflation pressure or just the overall volatility of the currency markets. You can balance that out very well in the decentralised financing world and build instruments that actually provide value.
I think the entry barriers will be lower, and more people will get into this, which means that it will grow, and if there is more liquidity then there are bigger returns as well.
I think the biggest challenge in our business is still building trust online. Remote identity verification, or online identity verification, is definitely here to stay but it doesn’t yet feel so natural when you’re doing a transaction and suddenly you’re asked for either your ID card or passport. I feel that in 2021 it will be part of our lives in a way almost like when you show your driver’s license to the police when they stop you. I believe there's still work to do to make the flow more easy, faster, in real-time for end-users, but if end-users are getting into a habit of proving their identity online in use cases that they see bring value, then they will actually appreciate that and that lowers our friction in getting more business for Veriff.
There’s a great analogy here actually - after 9/11, airline industries were really in trouble and they introduced a number of measures to increase the feeling of safety, and protocols that were necessary to do in security checks. After that, the industry has grown multiple times, and we’ve all got used to using an airplane as a transport method even for short hauls. This is something we need to do for remote identity verification - to introduce measures that build trust and show that your efforts approving your identity is actually bringing value for yourself.
I think we've seen a lot of new types of businesses move their services online, and this also means that there is quite a big increase of people who are now having their first interaction with an online service. This brings a big responsibility to the businesses to make it as intuitive as possible for people to access these online services, and I think it’s especially valid also for online identity verification providers to be this intuitive partner in giving access to the online services.
I can see people being much more aware of their rights when it comes to their data. Privacy concerns are increasing, and I can also see that people are more aware of company’s responsibilities when it comes to protecting their data. Again, relating to online identity verification providers, there’s a demand for companies to be up front, and transparent about how much information they use, how they process it, and how they store it. Data privacy is a big trend in 2021.