With ever more sophisticated transactions occurring through smartphones and apps, improving identity verification is a pressing concern. Here are some of the innovators taking the lead on digital recognition.
BioConnect has developed an “identity management platform and applications focused on enabling the easy adoption of current and future biometric technologies.” What this means is fintech “that can prove that you are really you,” explains Bianca Lopes, co-owner and vice-president of strategy, alliances and marketing at the Toronto company.
Biometrics platforms are already in place that let users be identified through their fingerprints and eyes; eventually each person’s individual heartbeat pattern could be used for logins as well.
“The idea is, you can just be who you are and identify yourself through something that’s unique to you,” says Ms. Lopes. The goal is to build an “agnostic” platform — something that can accept new identification technology as it comes on board.
Tacit Innovations developed maegan (TM), a mobile payment application for restaurants, and worked at MaRS with Moneris, which made it easier to integrate the app into digital payment systems like Apple Pay.
“The way our [payment system] works with Moneris is that it gives clients access to their funds immediately — there is no hold on their payments; they don’t have to wait two weeks for payouts. This is important for businesses like restaurants that work with really low margins,” says Cris Jucan, Toronto-based Tacit Innovations’ founder and CEO.
Security Compass helps developers design and build applications and software that are more secure.
“We use ‘ethical hacking,’ which actually breaks into software and looks for deficiencies,” says Rohit Sethi, the Toronto company’s chief operating officer. Security Compass meets up with financial services companies at MaRS because they have a constant need to make their products more secure.
Trulioo, headquartered in Vancouver, is a global ID-verification company that specializes in scoring online identities as authentic, machine-generated or fraudulent. It provides services to four billion people in more than 40 countries, including coverage for the most challenging demographics in emerging markets, such as China, Russia and Brazil.
“We ride that wave between fintech and what’s called ‘regtech,’ or regulatory technology,” says Zac Cohen, Trulioo’s general manager. “As financial technologies grow, [companies] need to be aware of all the obligations and regulations they must meet.”
Trulioo helps streamline the labour-intensive work of going through all the rules and regulations that fintech firms must meet around the world.
This article appears in our special report on Urban Innovation, which highlights how downtown density is driving the new economy. This report examines all the elements that fuel innovation at MaRS, showing how our building and location, corporate and academic partners, and the tenants and the startups in our network all contribute to getting high-impact solutions to market faster, both in Canada and beyond.