Veriff is excited to welcome Duncan Steblyna to our growing management team, and looking forward to the impact he can have on our expanding product offering.
Patrick Johnson, March 9th, 2021
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In another exciting appointment for Veriff, we’re thrilled to welcome Duncan Steblyna as our new Vice President of Product. Duncan joins us after 3 years in the same role with OLX Markets, and brings a decade of product development and strategy experience. He offers a positive and upbeat mindset, and feels like a perfect fit for Veriff’s growing leadership team.
I was happy to have the chance to chat to him about why he chose Veriff, and what he sees as the first big challenges in our product development.
From a purely product perspective, Veriff has built this wonderful technology that right now seems to be just scratching the surface of what it could do. I’m excited by the opportunity to explore the different ways that we can use this technology to improve upon many of the current ways we interact with each other and the internet.
A second reason was one of the three big questions that I was asking myself when selecting my next role, “Do I want to obsess about this for the next 4-5 years?” Identity and privacy identity is something that matters. I spoke to many different companies, but ultimately chose Veriff because this company is attempting to solve a problem that’s genuinely important for people. I wanted to work in a company that was solving a serious problem, it gives me a reason to jump out of bed in the morning.
An agency contacted me and put me in touch with Veriff. Being honest my first thought was “Who?” but as soon as I started to talk to the team I became more and more interested in the role.
I actually think this is another aspect to ‘Why Veriff’ - when I met the people, they were genuinely warm and friendly but very motivated and focused on solving this problem for customers. The team was clearly in love with the problem and as a product guy that is really compelling.
I ended up speaking to about six different people within Veriff and those conversations left me with a different feeling than any other interviews. It was definitely a key factor in choosing to come here.
I have not worked specifically in the IDV space but I do have some experience with the dangers of fraud on the internet, I think everyone who uses the internet worries a little about this. My previous role was with a global marketplace where we were helping people meet someone who had exactly the item they were looking for at a great price. The problem was that sometimes one of these people was acting dishonestly and not interested in a friendly transaction. The vast majority of people are honest, well-intentioned people but even one bad experience for our customers was one too many.
Being able to identify who’s buying your property, or selling something to you, that’s a pretty significant step to prevent any problems during the transaction.
It’s just real evidence that fraud goes way further than just money laundering.
Another one of the big questions that I ask myself when I’m talking with a new company is - what can I do to help this team? Essentially, does this team need my specific skill set?
Veriff is going through a phase of rapid expansion, so a lot of the things that worked at a start-up level now need to rapidly scale. This means setting up new guidelines and systems to support that growth to be able to serve many more customers. I’d say that’s where I have some experience - I’ve worked with teams that have grown from small numbers very quickly to serve huge numbers. I’ll support the product development team to continue their evolution so that we can continue to accommodate the fast growing demand.
My first few months will involve understanding how things are working within the company and how we can avoid some of the issues that start-ups face in this phase. Veriff has grown considerably and many of the tools and methods that got us here will not work at scale. Every company solves this kind of problem in slightly different ways and I’m looking forward to exploring how we figure this out with the Veriff team.
Definitely the increased emphasis on ‘verification-as-a-service’ and expanding what we offer to small and medium businesses, allowing people to sign up for Veriff with minimal hassle and then implement it on their websites easily.
I hope that if we can make the process really simple to access, it will open our eyes to the creative ways that small businesses choose to use Veriff and unveil surprising new use cases. We’re then using the collective imagination of all of our clients to see the problems that identity verification can solve.
I would also love to see Veriff as a password replacement - maybe a ‘Sign in with Veriff’ button that would let you sign in using our upcoming product Face Match, where we confirm your identity by checking your face against your document that is on file with that company.